Help save Ely’s heritage urges city mayor

Ely Mayor Councillor Lis Every

Ely Mayor Councillor Lis Every - Credit: Archant

An urgent plea has gone out by the city mayor for residents to email or call an action line to preserve Ely’s heritage after she said controversial new street lighting was put in without proper consultation.

New street lights in Sutton,

New street lights in Sutton, - Credit: Archant

Mayor councillor Lis Every said: “We take any changes to the heritage of our City extremely seriously.

“We have only just received the plans for the conservation area of Ely, again piecemeal, and we are appalled.

“It seems that the county council and Balfour Beatty can decide to change the face of Ely by changing the heritage lights without real and effective consultation on the preferred design with the City of Ely Council, East Cambs District Council or the Conservation Officer.

“We cannot allow this to happen.”

In an urgent plea sent to media, councils and councillors, Balfour Beatty and the conservation officer, Cllr Every said an email or telephone line was open for residents to air their views.

“I strongly suggest that they do,” she said.

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“I am sure you are aware of the controversial programme of replacement lights. The timescale for consultation has been extremely short with a drip feed approach to plans being sent to the city council.

“As they have been received, our councillors have been out checking each street in the plans as best they can. A very time-consuming process. We have identified many issues.”

After extensive surveys and local consultation she said they agreed that in Ely conservation area there must be no further heritage lampposts removed or replaced prior to design agreement.

Also wall mounted units should be replaced with approved new models.

She said: “Consultation paperwork from Balfour Beatty to the local residents has been patchy at best and non-existent at worst.

“This has resulted in that the only real and meaningful consultation to date, albeit it in impossibly short deadline times, has been through the city council.

“We are becoming increasingly aware that our residents are finding out about removal or replacements only when action has been taken or marks are shown on the pavements. This is resulting in real issues for us on an almost day to day basis.”

Residents with concerns should email or call 01954 233300.