MP survey points to city problems

PUBLISHED: 10:10 16 November 2006 | UPDATED: 13:36 04 May 2010

South-east Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice

South-east Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice

A NEW, wide-ranging survey of Ely residents has brought into sharp focus the need to vastly improve access and facilities in the city centre. The survey, carried out by south-east Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice, questioned residents on issues such as public

A NEW, wide-ranging survey of Ely residents has brought into sharp focus the need to vastly improve access and facilities in the city centre.

The survey, carried out by south-east Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice, questioned residents on issues such as public transport provision, parking, new housing developments and 'A' board advertising in the streets.

Mr Paice said: "The survey attracted a wide range of really interesting views about what can be done to make Ely an even better place to live and work and what came through strongly is a concern that public services aren't keeping pace with housing growth, which is a nettle that must be grasped before further development goes ahead."

"The reality is that the provision of public services and amenities cannot remain static while the city and its population continue to expand."

Of those surveyed, just 27 per cent agreed with the statement that Ely 'has a good variety of shops, facilities and services', and 86 per cent of people in Ely believe that public services and amenities are not growing in line with population growth.

Some of those surveyed felt that Ely needs the presence of larger retailers like HMV and Topshop, and a number of responses highlighted the 'eyesore' of the former fruit and veg shop in Market Street.

Public transport was rated badly, with 48 per cent of people describing bus services around Ely as 'poor', with just seven percent rating it 'excellent'.

Furious traders bitterly opposed a county council swoop earlier this year that resulted in dozens of advertising 'A' boards being cleared from Ely's streets because they represented a hazard, but Mr Paice's survey found that 90 per cent of those surveyed did not view the boards as a problem.

"There is little disquiet about retailers 'A' boards, which calls into questions the council's clampdown - I hope these results renew the call for common sense to prevail."

Residents' responses also mirrored recent national reports about anti-social behaviour, with 80 per cent expressing concern about crime and anti-social behaviour, and 66 per cent of those surveyed answering that they are not satisfied with police presence in Ely.

The results of the survey have been passed on to the district council.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Let us know what you think about the facilities in Ely. Write to: The Editor, Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs CB7 4LS or email: editor@ely-standard.co.uk

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