Spineless Councillors Uphold ADeC Cutbacks

Councillors yesterday agreed to uphold the decision made by the Members of the Community Services Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, to reduce the funding grant received by ADeC.

Members of the Internal Overview and Scrutiny Committee heard arguments both for and against the original decision from Councillors and members of the public before voting to uphold the resolution that was made in October.

The move to make a reduction of £70,000 in the ADeC grant for the financial year 2008/9 will now form part of the Community Services Committee budget to be debated in December 2007.

Permits Planned For City Workers

Council Chiefs will be debating three key aspects of the Ely Transport Strategy today to ensure the new car parking regime is fit to meet the needs of shoppers, visitors and workers in the city.

As part of a number of measures to encourage better use of the limited resources within the city, Councillors will be looking at how the car parks can accommodate city centre workers, confirm details of the Saturday Park & Ride service and look at suitable locations for coaches to park:

Following surveys of businesses in the city, it is envisaged that a permit scheme be introduced for businesses. These permits, costing £25 each, would be available for employers to apply for and come with a host of security measures to prevent misuse.

The new Saturday Park & Ride service from the new Angel Drove car park will be free and those using this new service will be able to redeem their car park charge at a number of local shops.

Finally, members will endorse an alternative coach parking site on the outskirts of the City, which will allow more off street parking spaces to be provided in Barton Road.

These enhancements, if approved, will be included within the draft Parking Order 2008:

Councillor John Seaman MBE, Chairman of the Environment & Transport Committee, said: “We have gone to huge lengths to consult the public about the car parking regulations which they would like to see and have listened to a great deal of what they had to say. We have introduced measures to move commuters out of the city centre car parks, we have suggested a scheme to allow the city’s businesses to thrive and we have made new park and ride proposals.

“However we understand that we cannot satisfy the demands of everyone no matter how much we would like to. We have had to make compromises and strike a balance with our limited resources to meet the best interests of the city. The Council will continue to monitor the changing patterns of parking when the new order comes into effect and feedback is particularly welcome to assist in evaluating the new regime.”

Have Your Say On Ely’s Transport Strategy

Residents in East Cambridgeshire are being asked to have their say on how to improve transport in and around Ely.

Consultation on a new Ely Market Town Transport Strategy will begin on Monday 26th November and run until January 2008.

The County Council has been working with East Cambridgeshire District Council to put together initial proposals aimed at improving travel choice and experience as well as the quality of life for residents and visitors.

The Councils now want to hear residents’ views on these draft proposals and hear about any ideas people might have.

All households in Ely and the surrounding area will receive a consultation leaflet about the Strategy over the next few days. This leaflet includes a freepost questionnaire to be completed and returned.

Three exhibitions will also be held in Ely, when Council transport officers will be available to talk about the proposals and answer questions.

The exhibitions will be held at Ely Market Place on the 29th November and at Ely Library in the City centre on the 30th November and 1st of December from 10am to 4pm each day. Questionnaires will also be available to be completed there.

Proposals include a City-wide cycling network, improvements to bus stops and making more information available about how people can travel in the City without using their cars.

County Council Transport Strategy Manager Jeremy Smith said: “With the huge housing growth going on in and around Ely it is vital that residents are given improved and high quality transport choice. Both East Cambridgeshire District and Cambridgeshire County Councils are working closely together to bring forward proposals and it is very important that people who travel in and around Ely tell us their views to make sure the city’s prosperity continues to grow. We’d like to see as many people as possible complete our questionnaire and come to the exhibitions so that we can take people’s opinions into account when creating the new Strategy.”