Weekly Highlights

26th September 2014

Dear Colleague

I start this week with the great news about the Ely Southern Bypass.  With yesterday’s decision from Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, not to determine the plans for the 1.7km long road himself – the approval by the Planning Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council now stands.  Cllr James Palmer, Leader at the District Council, said it well when he commented:

"We have campaigned long and hard for this much needed piece of infrastructure, as it will have a huge, positive impact on East Cambridgeshire.  Time is now of the essence, with every week that goes by the potential cost of the road will increase.  This is why I hope we can get to work on the ground as soon as possible, to build the road to end the many years of frustration and help our district to grow and prosper."

There's more good news with the financial support for the AbsolutELY bus service in Ely is to be extended until February 2017.  The service, which helps residents get to work, shop in the city centre or catch up with friends, was set up on a three year contract between Norfolk Green, East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.

With passenger numbers rising year on year - in 2012/13, the annual number of journeys was 40,285 and in 2013/14 this rose to 50,807 – the two authorities have agreed to continue the service.   As a result, the remaining money from the Section 106 Bus fund with Sainsbury’s will be directed to paying for the extension of the service and Cambridgeshire County Council will shortly put the route out to tender.

Ely’s Riverside is in the middle of an evolution to ensure it remains a place to relax and enjoy the best of the city.  Over the last few months, ‘no cycling’ signs have been removed and new duck feeding signs have been introduced to highlight where and what the public should feed ducks and other wildfowl on the river.  Work is also set to begin next week on installing solar lighting along the Riverside path to make it easier for pedestrians to walk safely along the area in the evenings and at night.

Once this work has been completed the next stage of the plan will begin to widen and improve the Lavender Green footpath and mooring areas in addition to tree work to enhance the area. The progress being made is thanks to the Ely Riverside Improvement Plan which has been developed with partners, local groups in consultation with members of the public.

It has also been announced this week that the City of Ely Council has taken a long-term lease on the Maltings from the District Council.  They will be working closely with ADeC, who are providing support for events and will continue to host Ely Cinema at the venue.

This month’s Flower, Food & Craft Market on Sunday 28 September is going to welcome some special guests.  On Sunday 28 September, alongside the Flower, Food & Craft Market there will be a visiting ‘Curiosities Market’.   This comprises of 20 stalls with a variety of goods from handmade crafts to microbrewery bottled beer, recycled denim and vintage kitchenalia and much more.

The guest market will complement our regular Flower, Food & Craft traders bringing flowers and shrubs as well as unique crafts and gifts including:

* Artisan bread and fine cakes

* Rare breed sausages

* Specialist English and continental cheeses

* Spanish delicatessen and charcuterie

* Artisan local gin

* Olives and continental pastries

* Savoury flatbreads to sample on the market or take away to enjoy at home

* Thai silk pashminas, leather bags and accessories

The market opens at 10am until 4pm and along with some amazing produce, there will also be plenty to keep the younger family members amused with face painting and entertainment.

Last week, the Environmental Health and Legal team's hard work resulted in a business in Mepal being convicted of carrying out the illegal slaughter of animals and breaching food hygiene regulations and has been ordered to pay fines totalling £1,025 and costs of £1303. Mr Lee Smith of Jasmine Farm, Chatteris Road, Mepal admitted three breaches of The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 and one breach of the General Food Regulations 2004 at a hearing in Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.

The case began with an anonymous telephone call alleging meat was being made available locally without going through a slaughterhouse.  When the case was investigated by Environmental Health Officers, they found that Mr Smith had been illegally slaughtering lambs at his home - which was not an approved slaughterhouse – before supplying the meat to a local butchers’ shop.

Mr Smith was unable to produce any documentation confirming how the meat had been produced.  On further examination, the lambs were not adequately labelled nor were there systems or procedures in place to identify other businesses to which the meat may have been supplied or from.  Finally, Mr Smith had also failed to inform the District Council and the Food Standards Agency that he had changed his food business from storing and supplying frozen meat to slaughtering live animals and supplying their meat.

At the hearing on Thursday 11 September, the Chairman of the Magistrates told Mr Smith that food safety is of paramount importance to us all and their job is to protect the public. 

However, the Magistrates felt this was not a sustained contravention but a single contravention and therefore they were minded to sentence Mr Smith accordingly.

And Finally, The Vice Chairman, Cllr. Michael Allan and his wife carried out two official engagements over the weekend.

On Friday night they attended a Flower Festival and concert at Fordham Church, where the theme was the commemoration of 100 years since the commencement of World War I.

Sunday morning they were guests of the Mayor of St. Edmundsbury, Cllr. Robert Everett at the Battle of Britain Service in St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds and afterwards joined the Civic Party to take the salute on the Angel Hill.

The RAF Regiment, Honington and United States Air Force, Mildenhall and Lakenheath were in attendance.

There is one meeting next week:

Wednesday, 1st October - Council Chamber – 2pm

Planning Committee


With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

Tony Cornell

Councillor Tony Cornell