LETTER: ‘Yobs’ to blame for ‘decline in standards of what used to be lovely Ely’  

Graffiti in Ely

Offensive graffiti reported in Ely this year by our readers. - Credit: Archant

Over a period of time, I have witnessed the decline in standards of what used to be lovely Ely.  

Rubbish everywhere, graffiti popping up and general yob culture.  

Last Sunday I witnessed a gang of yobs tear down a large branch from outside Cheffins Estate Agents, Market Square and just leave it for some poor individual to fall over.  

The group, of what can only be described as five yobs (two girls and three boys), then proceeded down The Vineyards. 

They sprayed a newly repainted communications box with a can of synthetic cream as well as onto the pavement close by.  

The can was then chucked into a garden.  

They proceeded down the cut through to Bell Holt, where they again ripped a branch from a tree at the entrance to Bell Holt. 

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And they left it for the poor residents, many of which are disabled, to fall over.  

Upon contacting the City of Ely C.C.T.V. team, to help with footage captured on the Market Square. 

Knowing the exact time and date the incident occurred, I was informed that the cameras there were out of service.  

What's the point of having them if they aren't used? 

No-one seems bothered or interested.  

If our council tax isn't paid, measures are soon speedily put into place to grab our money, for which we expect 'services' be it rubbish clearance, graffiti crack downs and anti-social behaviour.  



Let's get A1123 downgraded - please 

It has come to my attention that the current county council are 
no longer considering changing the A1123 to a B road status. 

I feel that this decision is a very negative step for the current county council. 
Firstly, I would like to point out that the A1123 runs through the 
middle of seven inhabited areas: Wicken, Streatham, Wilburton, 
Haddenham, Earith, Bluntisham, and St Ives.  

Each of these inhabited areas has speed restrictions, busy junctions and traffic calming, which result in motor vehicles having to slow down, sometimes stop and speed 

When considering motor vehicles and especially heavy goods vehicles 
this equates to lots more fuel being consumed adding to air pollution. 
Secondly, these villages were never designed for the amount of traffic 
that passes through them. 

Once again heavy goods vehicles are having an adverse effect on the structures and buildings alongside the road. 

The road often needs repairing, causing long delays for the affected 
residents wanting to commute etc.  

In addition to this the road between Haddenham and Earith is constantly eroding as it is built on a causeway and results in that section of the A1123 being closed for long periods of time.  

This issue is compounded by the amount of heavy goods vehicles 
that use it. 
Thirdly, I cannot image how this road must affect the mental health and 
well-being of the residents who reside next to or near the A1123.  

Heavy traffic is passing through their communities constantly Monday to Friday 
early in the morning until the late evening. 
Fourthly, there is no reason for people residing in the villages and 
dwellings that follow the A1123 to have to endure my points mentioned, 
as the A142 and the A14 run parallel to the A1123 on each side and not 
very far away.  

Both the A142 and A14 are connected by the A10 and A141. 

The A14 and A142 are suited to all traffic in the area and I think that 
for commercial vehicles there is no time gain to using the A1123. 
I would urge the county council to urgently reconsider the declassification of the A1123 and A1421 to B roads. 

 It would be better for the residents well-being and the environment, which I think are very high priorities for central and local government.  

Downgrading could hit funding  

So, Councillor Hunt wants the A1123 downgraded to a B road.  

The stretch of the A1123 from Earith to Haddenham is by its very nature of being on fenland very unstable.  

To drive along it even now is rather like being in an Archimedes screw. This will become even worse when the proposed reservoirs are dug and 90 heavy lorries loaded with gravel per day are in operation.   

If this is downgraded then it means that government funding for repairs will not be forthcoming as Councillor Hunt knows.  

As for being removed from Satnavs this will make it very difficult for lorries that have to deliver or collect goods from the farming community or even in the villages. 

Let's hear both sides of the story: 

I was rather surprised to read some snippets from readers who were critical of the proposed re-classification of the A1123 to a "B". 

These, standing alone, might have given the impression that there was a significant section of opinion opposed to the approved county council motion as passed in December 2020. 

This is not the case.  

This proposal would save lives, reduce car, LCV and HCV traffic and improve the lives of residents in Wicken, Stretham, Wilburton, Haddenham, Earith and Bluntisham.  

The parish councils along the route have expressed support for the motion and all the residents I speak to say "Keep it up Bill". 

Most residents who were aware of the December county council motion thought the job was done, they did not expect a council committee to overrule the motion. 

I believe that a little more digging would clarify the fact that the large majority of residents along the A1123 back the scheme. 

I believe that the Ely Standard should always give a balanced view and these snippets need some counter statement.  

Stretham Ward 


New Bill will stifle opposition 

The Elections Bill will allow ministers to define and curtail ‘campaigning’, could make coordinating opposition an offence, and permits political meddling in the Electoral Commission.  

The Bill will undergo a second reading in the House of Commons on September 7- and we can’t let it pass. 

A free election is one where unaffiliated organisations, charities and even the person on the street can be part of the debate.  

And where independent groups like Best for Britain who are campaigning against this Bill, can provide voters with information on parties and their policies. 

By putting restrictions on campaigning and cross-party co-operation, this bill stifles healthy opposition.  

With the Policing Bill which bans 'noisy protests and other Bills reducing the power of judicial review of Ministers' decisions I'm concerned this government is trying to stamp out healthy dissent. The UK should not go down this road. 



Getting the language right

I would like to address Emily Ashton's very apt comment in last week's Standard. Thank you.  

Well said Emily Ashton, in voicing a very valid point in last week's paper about GRT.  

It's about time something was done that addressed the discrimination aimed at Gypsies, Romany, Travellers. 

It's one of the oldest forms of nasty racism that many still find totally acceptable. And that's because it's not happening to them.  

In my life time it would be a big thing for racism of all kinds to be tackled and stopped. And that includes towards travelling people.  

People can still say anything they like to this group and nobody bat's an eye... except people like Emily and myself and many travellers, who are offended daily by comments and pointed newspaper & TV reports.  

If racism isn't acceptable for other cultures colours and creeds (rightly so) it is not acceptable to GRT. Simple.  


(Via email) 

Signs bewilder and cause concern 

Upon reading Mr Hesketh Harvey’s letter (August 9th), we were saddened to find ourselves labelled ‘Kneejerk saboteurs’ and accused of illegal activity.  

Hacking is indeed a cybercrime, but the purchase and registration of an unowned web domain and the creation of an associated email address is not. 

We are Ely residents who noticed that the appearance of signs at Roswell Pits was prompting bewilderment and concern (for example, see the Enjoy Ely More Facebook page).  

As commenters noted, no prior conversation had taken place and Ely Wildspace (which it might be assumed would have been consulted considering the sign’s reference to endangered wetland species) was also in the dark.  

Someone noted that the email address on the sign did not exist and so it was impossible to clarify the situation. 

We then discovered that no website existed, nor indeed did the email address.  

This unfortunately suggested that genuine, open communication was not at the forefront of the owner’s mind (nor, perhaps, the importance of also establishing online ownership).  

We registered the domain and provided links to pertinent information (rights of way and the Roswell Pits habitat, specifically), stressing that we were not the owners and asking people to obey the signs.  

This was in no way malicious but designed to encourage respectful use of the Roswell site until the facts became clear. It also, as hoped, prompted open discussion. 

Since his public denouncement of us, Mr Hesketh Harvey has reached out privately regarding the domain and email address.  

We are delighted to consider the process of handing them over so that dialogue between interested parties and the owner can now occur.  

It is a shame that people are instantly suspicious of others’ motivations, but on a positive note the situation demonstrates the depth of feeling about such a lovely natural resource.  

Moving forward, we should all be mindful of our rights and responsibilities regarding Roswell Pits (and the wider environment) and our community. Hopefully the owner’s stated aim of creating a breeding sanctuary for endangered species will come to pass. 



Our objections were ignored 

Despite serious drainage and flooding fears, dangerous inappropriate access and the destruction of a beautiful copse, East Cambs Council ignored the objections from local residents and granted permission for building on land near Metcalfe Way, Haddenham. 

At a time when we are encouraged to be 'green', plant trees and show more respect for our environment, the outrageous destruction of the copse is going ahead at this moment - woodland that houses a lot of wildlife.  

The screams of the saws seem to echo the screams of Mother Nature.  

All for the sake of profit. The council should be ashamed. 


(Via email)  

Issues over child poverty  

I was interested to read Daniel Mason's story about students going hungry. 

In particular I was struck by the YAB's tone of 'calling on communities' and those who have the tools and facilities 'not to turn a blind eye'.  

Community support for poverty is to be celebrated, not expected, and I know they I am not alone in being staggered by the fact that child poverty exists in what was the 5th wealthiest nation in the world on 2019. 

Simply put, it is unforgivable that this is allowed to continue, and each and every MP should be ashamed of themselves for not dealing with the issue immediately.  

To a large extent it could be solved very quickly, build a few less weapons in the name of defence (which usually actually means attack) and use that money to feed those who desperately need it.  

Any free-thinking person can see that it is entirely possible, don't think for a moment that it isn't, or believe the lies that are told about why it isn't. 

Overall, though, I suppose that it doesn't really matter, because as many of us have realised, humanity is hurtling towards a climate catastrophe and isn't capable of making the changes that are needed fast enough to prevent it.  

Child poverty is perfect proof that this is undeniably the case.  

If we can't prevent something as ghastly as that, humanity is hardly capable of making the many changes that are needed to save our planet.  

Like the clearest stars in the sky, humanity burned brightly, but not for very long. 

Now, back to Netflix so I don't need to think about it too much.