2007: Ely’s New Year Revolution? Doubtful!

Image: Happy New Year

Yes, yes we know, it’s been forever (4 months in fact) and if we are honest writing regularly here never really happened in 2006 but things should be getting back to normal very soon, and we will (once again) regale you all with tales from the other side of Ely.

Why the lull in writing? General blog burnout and “lackoftimeandattention-itis”, a fall in contributor features and the local media’s obsession with the car parking debate (see ‘ETA v ECDC’ below) to name a few reasons.

Were we missed? Probably not, though one anonymous soul did find the time to email this: ‘Oi you lazy git, so nothning has happened since August? I hope you dont get any council tax funding for this pile of misspelt crap’. Misspelled crap? Oh, the irony!

Our interest is piqued again. We have several local history features planned including a pictorial look at St. Martin’s jam factory that once traded from Bray’s Lane in the ‘1930 onwards, thanks to recently discovered photographs and letters kindly donated by John Evitt.


We grew apathetic to the continual coverage of Ely’s car parking schemes. Ely Traders Association (ETA) and East Cambs District Council (ECDC) both became openly obstreperous over who’s idea was best for the future of car parking facilities in the city. In the end a decision was made for a new, £1 million, 180-space car park (with park-and-ride facilities) that will be built at the Cambridge Business Park and increased traffic warden presence in High Street and Market Street. Both parties could have saved themselves a lot of time by visiting Ely Online’s article ‘Parking Charges For Ely’ that we wrote in August 2005 for a common-sense strategy to the parking problems in Ely.

3,700 new houses but very little infrastructure

Since the year 2000 there have been 3,700 new houses built in Ely but very little in the way of infrastructure. This has to change. Yes, we badly need the new homes. But we can’t build them on the cheap. New homes and communities need proper infrastructure too. That doesn’t just mean roads, it means public services, public spaces, parks and green places too. And it means funding the shared equity schemes needed to help people trying to get on the housing ladder as few of 3.700 houses built are truly assessable to people who have grown up in the Ely area.

Personally, I am going to be pushing the local health authority to have a major look at Ely in the new year.

Coun. Richard Hobbs

Coun. Richard Hobbs, Conservative leader of ECDC, said: ‘We are going to need more infrastructure. We can’t just keep building houses but keep the same facilities. We have to grow the quality of life that we expect here.
‘Personally, I am going to be pushing the local health authority to have a major look at Ely in the new year.’

Let’s see what 2007 brings, but don’t expect anything major from ECDC.

Happy New Year 2007 – Ely Online.