Weekly Highlights

31st October 2014

Dear Colleague

Last week, the District Council completed an extensive restructure to focus on delivering the services which residents need and supporting economic growth.  Throughout 2014, the authority has been reorganising its staff, committees and structures to ensure, despite cuts to Local Government budgets, the District Council is in shape financially and operationally to function in the years ahead.

The 'root and branch' investigation into all the services and spending at the Council began late last year as the organisation sought to balance its budget, deliver the services residents require and support growth through the Corporate Priorities. This review assessed how resources were employed and researched opportunities to work in partnership with neighbouring authorities.

The outcome has been extensive with in year savings of nearly £1/2 million and a complete restructure of the management team to streamline the decision making process, allowing for those delivering services to have greater ownership of decisions.  The committees have also been realigned and service member champions have been introduced to create a better reporting structure and make certain there is no democratic deficit as a result of the changes.

The Boundary Commission has also confirmed it is to review the number of Councillors at the authority.  Earlier this year, the District Council asked the Commission to consider proposals to reduce the authority from 39 to 27 members in time for the election in May 2019.  The Commission says it will proceed with a review of this idea in the next financial year.

And finally, residents in Ely are getting the chance to have their say on how the green space which is part of the new North Ely development will look.

The District Council and Shiels Flynn are working together to develop the design and layout for the new North Ely Park through a three week consultation. The aim is to seek the views and ideas of local people who will use the park to shape how the area will develop.

At present, the proposals for the park include creating a fenland landscape with reed beds and pools, along with sweeping open meadows, woodlands and elevated lawns to provide panoramic views.  Other ideas such as sports pitches, play facilities, and community orchards have also been suggested but all ideas are welcomed to create an area where people of all ages and abilities can enjoy the freedom to roam and play in a countryside setting.

The consultation will run from Thursday 6 to Friday 28 November and residents are invited to get involved in a number of ways:

  • Attend the public exhibition in Ely Library foyer on Thursday 6 November 2pm -   7pm  and Saturday 8 November 10am - 2pm, talk to the consultants and complete the questionnaire provided
  • View the plans and fill in the questionnaire, both of which will be available on-line at www.eastcambs.gov.uk                       
  • Write/email to East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4EE, email - growthdelivery@eastcambs.gov.uk

There are two meetings scheduled for next week:

Wednesday, 5th November at 2.00pm in the Council Chamber

Planning Committee

http://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/meetings/planning-committee-05112014

Thursday, 6th November at 4.30pm in the Council Chamber

Corporate Governance & Finance Committee  

http://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/meetings/corporate-governance-finance-committee-06112014

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

Tony Cornell

Councillor Tony Cornell
CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL