Parking permits row - is mayor running scared?

ELY Mayor Cllr Ron Bradney has been accused of running scared after sending out emails to drum up support for the controversial move to refuse residents permits under the city s new parking regime. Angry residents believe Cllr Bradney s actions reflect

ELY Mayor Cllr Ron Bradney has been accused of "running scared" after sending out emails to drum up support for the controversial move to refuse residents permits under the city's new parking regime.

Angry residents believe Cllr Bradney's actions reflect the fact that he is worried they will win their fight and the decision will be thrown out by full council.

But Cllr Bradney is confident the decision will be upheld - although the issue is to be discussed again by East Cambridgeshire District Council's environment and transport committee in the new year.

Cllr Bradney sent an email urging residents to get their neighbours and relatives to write to the Ely Standard "dreaming up reasons why the council should not have to pay for the private car parking of people who choose to live in a house or flat without a drive".

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The email read: "Help I need some support regarding the car parking especially from people who travel into Ely for work or shopping."

"I just can't believe this man," said protester, Christopher Bent. "He is obviously worried that this decision is not going to be supported by full council.

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"We have almost 500 signatures on a petition including many names not directly affected but who sympathise with our situation. Some of these names would hurt the council which has made this a political situation."

Cllr Bradney, who represents Ely north on East Cambridgeshire District Council, claims residents should pay for a garage or a private parking area and not expect the district council to provide free parking. (See Letters, Page 6).

"These Ely citizens, who are now complaining, have on the whole made a lifestyle decision to live in the city centre and enjoy all the advantages" he said.

"A significant number of people want their cake and to eat it. I do not see the role of the district council or any public body to provide car parking for residents whilst they are at home.

"I am confident the decision not to provide residents permits will be upheld. But we are listening to what people are saying and it will be discussed again."

Christopher and Valerie Bent, who have lived in Broad Street and run a business in the city for 25 years face shunting her car round the city when new timed restrictions come into force in the new year.

The new parking regime will mean that they and other residents will have to move their cars between 8am and 10am to meet 90 minute restrictions in the city's car parks.

But business people travelling into the city to work are to be offered parking permits.

Christopher added: "As the civic head and titular mayor of the city of Ely, Cllr Bradney demeans this office by his condescending remarks relating to the city's residents.

"The new rules mean a very large change which will impact on every motorist in Ely, but particularly those residents who have nowhere else to park.

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