Free parking should be the selling point of Ely I HAVE been reading the various letters and editorials regarding the impending parking charges which the council seem determined to introduce. My family has lived in the Ely area for many generations and ov

Free parking should be the selling point of Ely

I HAVE been reading the various letters and editorials regarding the impending parking charges which the council seem determined to introduce.

My family has lived in the Ely area for many generations and over the years I have seen the continual demise of the small businesses in town. I started life as a delivery boy for Fred Wright, who had a greengrocers' shop next to Woolworths on Fore Hill. In the 1950s there were three greengrocers shops next to Woolworths on Fore Hill - Wrights, Kemptons and Longs. Have they been replaced? No. Gradually associated businesses have been squeezed out of Ely by supermarkets. Ely was a town of shops, owned and worked by families who lived and believed in the town.

I know progress has to continue but we have allowed people to come into the area with big ideas of city life who want to instil this into the existing population. Where has the person gone who was hell-bent on the shutting of High Street to traffic? I know this has opened again on Thursday, but is still closed on Saturday. Does this still have an effect on shopping in the High Street? If the answer is negative then this shows without further consideration how parking restrictions would affect all of the shops if they are introduced.

Mr Wilton's letter in last week's Ely Standard reiterated the present position regarding the large shops in the centre of the town. We do not have them. Without these there is no draw. Gradually the small shops that rely on mainly weekend trade will also disappear and more banks and other such institutions will dominate the streets. Not good for the town. It has always been the case that the shopping population is made up of visitors at the weekend from the surrounding villages. As they all now have cars there are plenty of larger towns surrounding Ely where the facilities are greater. They might have to pay a fee, but there is a larger selection of shops. The selling point of Ely should be NO PARKING CHARGES and we welcome visitors with open arms.

I am not sure how ECDC is now represented by business people in the town, but on reading the names listed almost all seem to be from the professions. Hardly anyone earns a living from trading in the town or has the experiences of running a business with threats of a further loss of trade. How many representatives on the council will continue to live in the town when they retire? Some want to impose their existing ideas on the town and then disappear. Do not allow this to happen. The councillor who seems determined to introduce charges irrespective of the wishes of the people should think again. He has never been a small shopkeeper and those should be the ones he is defending; not putting more of them out of business. I hope when the election of officers for the council comes round again residents will remember the attitude of those who are trying to destroy the town.

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As a further point of discussion perhaps the councillors can state what is happening to all the additional rates that are being received by ECDC. In excess of 3000 houses have been built which must have put the council with an enormous amount of extra revenue. Why not use some of the money to dispense with any ideas of parking charge? That would make good business sense.


Wellington Barns


Get on with your jobs, councillors!

SO the county council seeks our help and advice as to how and where cuts and savings could be made when they spend our hard-earned cash do they? Even were such advice to be given it would not be followed.

This can only be a cynical exercise to shift the responsibility from them to us when the cuts and shortfalls start.

Will the same request be made for us to join their wages, expenses, benefits and pensions review committee. I think not.

Get on with your jobs, councillors and we will get on with ours and will let you know what we think of you in the time honoured way in 2007 at the ballot box!




A true Samaritan

ON Christmas Day in the early evening, after leaving my home, my uncle ran into trouble on Witchford Road Ely. His front wheel needed to be changed, but as he is partially disabled this was a real problem. A young man in his late 20s or early 30s was out walking his dog and stopped to speak to him and within a short time had changed the wheel for him. I have no idea who he is but want to send my heartfelt thanks to him for caring. A true Samaritan.

SA Trent

Barton Mews


Riding school is best I've been to

IT was with shock that I read in this week's Ely Standard of the difficulties experienced recently by Laura and Philip Sullivan of the Sedgeway Equestrian Centre.

I have visited the centre regularly over the past three years as my son learned to ride there. I have also ridden there myself on occasions and for the past year I have been a volunteer helper at the Riding for the Disabled sessions at Sedgeway.

I have ridden in numerous riding establishments since the age of five, and I can honestly say that I have never seen a better or more efficiently run stables. I've never come across such well schooled, well groomed and beautifully turned out animals either. The horses and ponies at Sedgeway are a far higher calibre than the usual run of riding school 'nags'. Both Philip and Laura are also extremely safety conscious as well, and take the utmost care of horses and pupils alike. They have also invested large sums of money in constantly improving their facilities over the years. The stables are the cleanest that I have ever seen. And in my opinion, they are extremely able and experienced horse-keepers.

To say that Philip and Laura live for their horses would be an understatement. Their paddocks are large and well-managed and the animals always look sleek and in the peak of health.

They provide an excellent livery service as well as schooling and bringing on pupils and horses alike. As their very many satisfied customers will testify.

I feel sorry that the council's ruling in this case may have damaged the business prospects of a very hard working and committed couple.

I, for one, wish them a speedy resolution to this crisis and all the best for their future.


Milpit Furlong


The only way is up

I READ on your letters page that "parking charges would be a threat to city's prosperity" which is about the proposals to pay for parking in Ely. It has been suggested the old Labgear /Westmill Foods site opposite Tesco could provide more parking. The site has been empty for more than 18 months because the site is crying out for another store in comparison with Tesco in order not to take up too much space in the central car parks. There could be a multi-storey car park built here in conjunction with a shopping centre, because of the lack of large shops in Ely. In suggesting this, the problem is not what the council can do for you, but what you can do for the council. If there is a lack of spaces on the ground the only way is up.


Link Lane


Long live muscovies

I MUST take issue with Rex and Jan Lane regarding their attack on the moral standards of our muscovy ducks. I presume that the lion-hearted British river ducks, whose gene pool is being polluted by lascivious muscovies, are mallard. The colour variations in mallard go back many generations and are the result of breeding between wild birds and domestic ducks, which themselves are mostly derivatives of mallard. It has nothing to do with the attentions of muscovies which, handicapped as they are by their aversion to flight and water, would have the greatest difficulty keeping up with a mallard. The same type of colour variations can be seen in geese for similar reasons. The mind really does boggle at the logistics of muscovies having the ability and enthusiasm to pollute the goose gene pool.

So our beloved muscovies are blameless and long may they continue to delight visitors to Ely.


High Street,