Gareth Wilson

Liberal Democrat Campaigner for Haddenham & Aldreth Learn more

A Cinema for Ely

by Gareth Wilson on 13 June, 2012

East Cambs Development and Transport Committee met on Tuesday 12th June.

The possibility of a cinema coming to Ely was discussed.  In order to ease the way forward the officers were recommending adding it to our ECDC Plan.  There was still just time to do this.  All the Masterplans for Ely, Soham and Littleport had gone through their extensive consultation process and the “Village Visions” for our many villages are progressing well.

What is it that Conservatives don’t understand about consultation?

There was vociferous pressure to ignore what people want and tell them.  The officers had suggested that the short public consultation (only three weeks) should offer six possible sites.  Some of these sites were rather impractical as they were already occupied by an existing building that would have to be replaced elsewhere.  However the Tory reaction was to eliminate all sites except the site owned by the Council at Downham Road (or to leave just one other.)

I had to point out that our plan, which is soon to go before a Government Inspector, needs to have had proper consultation and that if people are told full information they can be trusted to take sensible decisions.  If, as we believe, that a cinema in Ely is wanted as soon as possible a site that is immediately available will be preferred to a site that cannot become available for many years.

Eventually common sense prevailed and the decision to let officers amend the questionnaire to take out two impractical sites and to include information for and against each site was passed.  If you want your say then make sure that you check the East Cambs web site for this questionnaire (it should be available soon.)  Paper copies will be available from the Grange.  I suggested that they should also be available at the next cinema show at the Maltings.

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