Band says a big thanks ON behalf of the City of Ely Military Band, I would like to thank the people of Ely and friends and families of the band members for their generosity and support over the Christmas period when we were playing carols on the Market

Band says a big thanks

ON behalf of the City of Ely Military Band, I would like to thank the people of Ely and friends and families of the band members for their generosity and support over the Christmas period when we were playing carols on the Market Square, and at our Christmas Concert.

I would also like to thank the mayor of Ely, Cllr Bryant Watson for his very kind donation from his charity funds and to Ben Jones for his excellent feature 'Drumming up support for band'. His drumming wasn't that bad!

We do enjoy ourselves and we extend a warm welcome to new players from around the area to come and join us. Membership is free and playing in the band for the youth is a great experience. It gives them the added value of meeting and gaining the support and encouragement from the adult musicians.

Our youth ensemble, (pictured), played brilliantly at the concert and we hope to feature them again at the next concert at the City Of Ely College on April 9.

This will be a Memorial Concert for past band master and founder member Eric Peters.

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Anyone interested can contact me on 01353 721782 or see our web site.


(Bandmaster City of Ely Military Band)

Get-in and get-out mentality inevitable

CLLR Brian Ashton has convinced himself that "doing nothing is not an option" and is trying to justify parking charges on that basis. He fails to recognise that the solution proposed is seen by the public to be more painful than the affliction! Doing nothing is an option - at least until the affliction gets very much worse.

Your article quotes Cllr Ashton as saying 'would you pay 30p for it (twenty minute wait) to go away'? It is not clear what arithmetic he is using but 50p an hour has been proposed. Someone working a full day in Ely would need to park for nine hours at a cost of £4.50 per day or £22.50 for a five-day week which is £1080 if working 48 weeks of the year - of taxed money. I think that most of this group would rather save money and put up with a twenty minute delay.

The economic viability of Ely requires shoppers to be encouraged to stay longer than their purchases require so that they browse other shops, take refreshments and enjoy themselves. Parking charges encourage a get-in and get-out mentality. At the other end of the scale, who is going to pay for car parking just to buy a newspaper or a pint of milk when Tesco is close by? Ely does not have a good enough shopping centre to warrant a 50p per hour charge. Three hours parking without charging would overcome this. Traders have made their views clear and, if these views are ignored, Ely will be in for a slow spiral of decline.

The impact of the proposals made so far on residents who do not have off-street parking for themselves or their visitors would be severe and are unacceptable. In some measure the council itself has made the parking situation worse by allowing homes to be built in the centre of Ely without any dedicated parking provision.

Whatever the outcome, adequate parking provision must be made for the growing number of disabled car users. Cambridge handles this well: it has many designated parking bays, free parking for the first three hours in the main car-parks and unlimited free parking on on-street pay and display bays.




Keep parking charges debate raging

I FEEL I would like to pen a letter to your readers conveying the positives that have been achieved by the Ely Traders Association. The proposal that was carried forward last week by the Environment and Transport Committee to implement parking charges was totally expected and did not come as a surprise to us. We fully expected the council to continue to try and press ahead with this issue.

It is tempting to use the old adage 'they will do what they want to anyway' which has been commonly used relating to government and local government alike. But I ask your readers to think on. The Ely Traders Association has only been opposing the car parking issue for something like six months. In that time we have seen your Letters page growing as the debate rages, not only from the ETA, but from many members of the public. There have been a growing number of letters on these pages from councillors attempting to justify actions or, as in last week's paper, an ex-council worker feeling brave enough to speak out.

We must be encouraged by the turnaround regarding the new council office development. This issue was really brought to light, almost unintentionally, by the Ely Traders Association highlighting the car parking issue. I made members of the public focus on the office development and realise its implications. Letters to the press, and maybe some to the council offices, were all it took for enough councillors to feel obliged to consider these implications,

As I mentioned earlier, the Environment and Transport Committee pressing ahead with the car parking charges came as no surprise, they were expected to continue showing bravado. However, if you want to win this issue, as well letting your voice be heard, then pen a letter to the newspapers stating your opinion and how it would affect you and your life. Then send a copy to East Cambs District Council. We must not forget, I am sure our councillors will not, that they are coming up for re-election next May 2007 and they must start behaving as the paid executives, or elected representatives, that they are.


Member of Ely Traders Association

Council opinion is same as villagers

THE information received and reported in the January 26th edition of the Ely Standard on the Little Downham plan for a traveller site was somewhat incorrect.

Your story said "Tempers flared as 300 protesters packed into the village hall".

In truth there were between 80-90, some chairs were empty, and the hall is not big enough to hold 300 people.

The meeting was calm and everyone who wished to speak had their say. Only one person who spoke early on referred to the actions or lack of them in the past and thought we should have resigned enbloc. I myself replied to him saying if we had of done, there would be no-one to represent the villagers to the East Cambs District Council and the villagers would have been in a worse position.

This is not tearing the village apart as stated. The parish council is of the same opinion as the village and always has been on the issues involved. Permission for Mr Boswell's use of the land was granted by ECDC against the objections of Downham Parish Council.

The footpath mentioned has over the years moved and is being researched by the correct department who deal with such matters; it was a private one used to get from one drove to another to get to the chapel and pub instead of going round by the road.

I hope this helps to put the record straight.

Cllr Mary MacCauliffe

Little Downham

Editor's Note: The information on the number of people who attended the meeting and the conduct of some of those present was provided to us by a trusted source who was at the meeting. We had no reason to believe that it was incorrect.

Disgraceful shop front ruined view

CAN I just say a big thank you to East Cambridgeshire District Council for ordering Mr Borland to smarten up his boarded-up city centre shop. It is a disgrace that a shop such as this, in the heart of Ely's city centre has been allowed to fall into disrepair like this. One would have hoped that a local businessman would have shown more respect for the city and people of Ely.

The view as you walked down Newnham Street with the cathedral's lantern in the background used to be lovely but now Mr Borland's shop front has totally blighted what used to be a picturesque scene. Whatever must visitors think!


Steward Close,




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