April 7 is polling day for City of Ely Council by-election

Peter Harris (left) and Rupert Moss-Eccardt, candidates

Peter Harris (left) and Rupert Moss-Eccardt, candidates for a vacancy on the City of Ely Council - Credit: Archant

Two candidates will contest a by-election for City of Ely Council.  

Voters in Ely East go to the polls on April 7 to fill the vacancy; Matt Downey topped the poll in 2019.  

Rupert Moss-Eccardt and Peter Harris are the two candidates.  

“Ely is a very special place”, says Rupert. “I want to protect people’s quality of life here and that’s why I’m standing.” 

Rupert has been working with farmers and drainage engineers to ensure that water levels in Ely’s Cawdle Fen are safeguarded and protected from the effects of climate change.  

He is chair of the campaign to protect Queen Adelaide from Network Rail’s plans to close level crossings. 

“The city’s green spaces have been so important to people during lockdown and I want to protect them for all everyone’s futures,” he says. 

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“For example, the Conservatives running the district council have long been threatening the future of the Paradise field. 

“We mustn’t allow it to be built on any further.” 

He says that “too many of our streets are full of cars, often parked illegally”.  

He believes his experience with the police and on the county council has made him familiar with enforcement schemes that will work “rather than silly schemes that plainly won’t”. 

Peter Harris hopes to put his experience in international education, tourism and philanthropic projects to help make the city an even better place to live. 

He came to the city as founder director of King’s International Study Centre as the school broadened its international student intake.  

“Philanthropic projects have been an important part of my life,” he says.  

He raised nearly £100,000 for the Centre for Children’s Happiness in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, “which gives a home and education for orphans who would otherwise be put to work on the rubbish dumps”.  

He has been involved with Ely Christmas Community Lunch and for the past two years, because of the pandemic, has done doorstep lunch deliveries dressed as Father Christmas. 

He says: “Now I’ve got the time and I’ve still got the energy I want to help work towards making Ely an even better place for everyone who lives here and those who visit.” 

If elected, he says he will serve as an independent.