No Hot Dogs in Jubilee Gardens Please!
ANGRY residents fear Ely s award-winning Jubilee Gardens could be ruined by street traders. They have joined forces to fight a plan which they believe could open up the picturesque park to street salesman, selling everything from ice-cream to hot dogs. T
ANGRY residents fear Ely's award-winning Jubilee Gardens could be ruined by street traders.
They have joined forces to fight a plan which they believe could open up the picturesque park to street salesman, selling everything from ice-cream to hot dogs.
"The floodgates would be open for all kinds of undesirables, generating noise, smells and heaps of litter," said Patricia Simmonds, of Cardinals Way, overlooking the gardens which have won the coveted Green Flag award three times.
"It would completely alter and devalue the environment that is so precious and greatly valued by the majority."
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Residents have launched a campaign after councillors agreed to push ahead with plans to allow an ice-cream seller to trade from a mobile barrow in the riverside gardens.
The idea is out to public consultation and a final decision is expected when East Cambridgeshire District Council's licensing committee meets again on June 11.
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But residents fear that if the trader's licence application were to be successful it could lead to burger vans and hot dog stalls setting up for business in the gardens.
Cardinals Way resident, David Gale, has added his voice to the campaign, claiming the street trading plan goes against the ideals set out in Ely's Master Plan.
"Jubilee Gardens is an open space and a key part of the central riverside area leading up through Cherry Hill to the cathedral," he said.
"Street traders would spoil the natural openness, quality and peace of the gardens. The proposals do not conform to the vision of the Ely Masterplan for the areas."
Councillor Sheila Friend-Smith, Ely's newly appointed mayor and chairman of the Friends of Jubilee Gardens, said: "The gardens were never designed to be a second market place for Ely but that is what they could become. There is no guarantee that if we grant a licence to an ice-cream seller, we won't get everyone else."
Liz Knox, East Cambridgeshire District Council's head of environmental services and housing, said: "Jubilee Gardens has become an important part of the regeneration of Ely's riverside with its events, music and open space.
"The district council is looking to bring in control and regulation of the area so that only appropriate types of traders can operate from in the park.
"We would like to reassure residents that our aim is to protect our award winning gardens and work with local people to do this."
Pic cap: Residents are fighting to protect Jubilee Gardens.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE.