Chairman's Chat

6th April 2018

Dear Colleague,

In my role as a Civic Head, it is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to support local organisations and societies. Roslyn and I have considered it a privilege to be invited to attend concerts by Ely Choral Society during our term of office. The most recent of these was on the Saturday evening prior to Easter when they performed Bach’s St John Passion, which tells of Christ’s persecution and crucifixion. They were accompanied by the Chameleon Arts Baroque Orchestra. The work was sung in English; it was a truly wonderful performance. District Councillor Chris Morris was a member of the chorus, as was former Council Chairman, Jeremy Friend-Smith.

The week prior to Easter was certainly a busy one. On Tuesday morning, I attended a meeting to finalise arrangements for the Official Opening of The Hive Leisure Centre, which will take place on Friday 11th May. This will be an exciting day for the Council. After many years of planning, new leisure facilities will be available for the residents of our district, and I take this opportunity to express sincere appreciation to our colleague, Councillor Richard Hobbs, for his sterling efforts in masterminding the project.

On Tuesday evening, I chaired a meeting of the Parish Forum, in the south of the district. Guest speakers were Richard Kay, Strategic Planning Manager, who outlined the work involved in formulating a Neighbourhood Plan, and Councillor Lis Every, in her role as the County Council’s Area Community Champion for East Cambridgeshire.

The following day, I was able to attend part of the Parish Conference, which took place in Burwell. One of the presentations was on the Happy Café in Ely, the first one of its kind in Cambridgeshire. This is a wonderful project, whereby like-minded people meet. The aim is
to help them to build good mental well-being. There were also presentations on Stretham’s impressive community initiatives and on the Dementia-friendly project. Physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle should be a priority for us all. The sad fact is, 850,000 people in
the UK live with dementia. 1 in 14 people over 65 will develop dementia, and 40,000 people under 65 suffer from dementia too. Delegates at the conference were encouraged to make their community dementia friendly. Further details of this are available from Liz Knox, the Council’s Environmental Services Manager.

This year, the Royal Air Force is celebrating its centenary. Roslyn and I were pleased to represent the Council, at an event in St Ives to commemorate the occasion. The RAF has played a significant role in British military history, having been formed towards the end of the First World War. We owe them a great deal, as I am sure you will agree.

One significant decision, which has been made since my last newsletter, is that Jason Ablewhite has been granted approval by the Home Office to take over responsibility for the County’s Fire Service. He will now be The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It has been suggested that this will lead to greater collaboration between the two services.

As you aware, this week East Cambs Street Scene took over the contract to deliver waste and street cleaning services throughout the district. As Councillors, may I suggest that having effectively taken the service ‘in house’, this should give us all fresh impetus to encourage householders to increase recycling. Our target is for our recycling rate to reach 60%. May I remind you that residents now have an opportunity to acquire a second blue bin, at a one-off cost of £25. These can be ordered by visiting our website: https:/

Forthcoming meetings:

Week commencing 9th April:
Wednesday, 11th April – Licensing Committee at 9.30am in the Council Chamber

Week commencing 16th April:
Monday, 16th April – Member Seminar on Kennett Garden Village at 6.00pm in the Council Chamber
Thursday, 19th April – Full Council at 6.00pm in the Council Chamber.

With Kind Regards

Yours sincerely

Councillor Peter Cresswell

Chairman of the Council