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Minutes of Riverside Meeting

Thursday 10th July 2012

Present: Malcolm Green, Margaret Haw (Minutes), Angela Moody, Terry Overall, Patricia Simmonds (J.Gdns), Liz Wainwright (Chair), Ted Coney (Adec) and Helen Moore.

1. Apologies

Pat and Peter Hillman, Margaret Bowles, Shirley Overall, John Yates and Mike Rouse

2. Minutes of the meeting on 19 April

These were approved and signed by the Chair after an amendment under Jubilee Gardens ......grant of 1750 towards tree planting 'has been given'.

3. Matters Arising (not on the agenda)

(i) There is a plan being formulated to have an official launch of a plaque for the Diamond Jubilee hornbeam tree. Liz will e-mail Lewis to get more information to see how we can be involved.

(ii) At the recent meeting of Ely Perspective Executive Committee, if was officially announced that it still wants to be involved in the future organisation of the riverside.

(iii) The new Perspective website is now available at

4. Ely Master Plan and Country Park

Allison Conder provided the following update via e-mail (blue text) Riverside Group comments are in black italics:

1. Fisherman's car park has now been re-surfaced and an additional disabled parking space created next to the main footpath, for easier wheelchair access. Thank you to John Baker for input from the Ely Access group. A sign is due to be put up marking the space for blue badge holders shortly. Still more are needed and picnic tables would be a bonus.

2. New litter bins and benches have been added to the play park area. Following the opening of Sainsbury's there has been an increase in people picnicking at the play area, and this has created more litter and the need for more bin provision.

3. Following some consultation with members of the Ely Cycling Campaign group, new cycle racks will soon be installed nearby to the play area. The group felt that this was a better location for families to leave their bikes in view while enjoying the play park, rather than putting them out of sight in the car park area.

4. We are working with City of Ely Council regarding a new CCTV camera which will monitor the play park area and entranceways to the country park from Fisherman's car park and Sainsbury's. This will be an infra red camera which will be monitored by the central control room at the police station. This was felt to be the an important location for a new camera, within the vicinity of Sainsbury's, which will be paid for by Section 106 funding from the Sainsbury's development. It should reduce incidences of vandalism and anti social behaviour reported in these areas.

5. I am currently working with Cllr Elaine Griffin-Singh and Dave White from ECDC's waste team, to improve dog bin provision at the key entranceways into the country park. Unfortunately Veolia cannot empty bins at the entrance ways to the Milking Commons on Kiln Lane as this is a private road owned by the Env Agency. However, a number of new bins will be appearing soon, where they can be accessed for emptying.

6. New entranceway signs are currently being designed and made, to mark all of the key entrance ways into the park and showing all of the public rights of way and public areas, to give people confidence to use the whole of the park area.

7. Two walking trail routes are also being developed, one short walk and one longer walk and a leaflet will be available at the entrance way board (where) for people to take and complete a walk, identifying key points of interest along the route. We are working with the artist Jill Brewster to design 2 different sculptures that will be used as the way markers for the trail routes. Below is a picture of a bittern sculpture and example of the type of work produced for other country park sites.
Helen developed a walk trail in that area some time ago and will forward it to Liz. Also its thought that The Ely Society also have two walks in that area.

8. The Ely Wildspace group are making good progress with turning the old Pill Box on the Milking Common (next to Prickwillow Road), into a haven for bats. The location offers an excellent opportunity for bats to roost and hunt over the grassland and open water on the nearby pits. Bricks will be stacked in the Pill Box to create the roosts and the door will be closed and windows made smaller so that the bats won't be disturbed by people.

5. Reports

Access: There is a large puddle down Cresswell's Lane making it inaccessible to the disabled. (There used to be a track that cut through the wood). Gates are all locked and no wheelchair access from Springhead Lane stones make it difficult. Steps are closed again from Springhead Lane to Pocket Park although there is a ramp and the new wooden bridge is slippery. It's probably time for a review of disabled access. Liz will contact Allison (copy to John Baker).

Natural Environment: It's not a good year for breeding birds but two nightingales have been spotted. Ely Wildspace had a workshop and a bird race. Dog mess is a huge problem all along the riverside, especially for groups of schoolchildren, and needs a big push. Liz will report this to Lewis (cc to Liz Knox).

Ducks are not such a problem but Canada geese are becoming uncontrollable. We will ask to have more signs about feeding, noting that the old ones need removing and bearing in mind that the 2,500 fine relates to persistent offenders. Malcolm and Liz will meet Dave White and Liz Knox on site to see what can be done to manage the Canada geese.

Cruising: There are not so many boats this year. It's thought to be partly due to the closure of the Nottingham arm. Boaters' bins are still not in place.

13. 14. 15 July Ely Folk Festival, Rugby Club

18 July Neighbourhood Panel, ECDC 7-9pm

20 July Royal Marines, Ely Cathedral

20 July National Theatre production - Frankenstein, Maltings Cinema

Other live National Theatre productions (visit,,

25 August Art & Craft Fair Babylon Gallery

July Cambridge Open Studios (leaflet from Burrows, The Passage)

22 July BioBlitz Wicken Fen visit>

6. Future organisation of the riverside

Maltings Cottage: We understand there has been no agreement between ECDC and the City Council and no update is available on the situation concerning this important local building. Malcolm will go the Neighbourhood Panel to enquire.

Slipway: No update is available and Liz will enquire about the land ownership issue and the proposed gate.

N.B. Following the inaugural meeting of Ely Forum, this item will be replaced by Progress on Ely Forum at future meetings.

7. Jubilee Gardens

The recent 'Friends' outing was successful, with a full coach. There are no events planned. The big lunch was a 'wash-out' and a huge disappointment. There is bindweed in the winter garden which may have to be sprayed. Voluntary help has been offered by the Waitrose Community. The fountain is on again but not flowing properly. ECDC have issued the appropriate notices concerning the illegal camping and the police are informed. Liz will update Malcolm before the Neighbourhood Panel so that he can bring this up if necessary.

8. Ely in Bloom (TO)

Local competition judging will take place on 7 August at a reception by invitation. Groups are in place for the judging. Some of the tiered planters have proved disappointing. 250 French marigolds in the big planter outside The Almonry have had to be replaced. Archery Crescent and The Memorial are fine. The Station garden has been good Pat and Pete Hillman have some more plants and the grass has been re-seeded.

9. The Maltings

No report but Malcolm will ask for an update at the Neighbourhood Panel.

10. Adec (see Events under 5. Reports)
11. Date of next meeting

Tuesday 11 September, St. Peter's Hall, 7pm

Future meetings will be on the second Tuesday each month as follows:
Tuesday 9 October, St Peter's Hall, 7pm
Tuesday 13 November, venue to be confirmed, 7pm
Tuesday 11 December, St. Peter's Hall, 7pm

12. Any other Business

(i) The group is concerned that it has lost the valuable input from ECDC representatives Mark Mehaffey and Lewis Bage. Liz will enquire of Liz Knox see what the situation is.

(ii) Liz went through the action priorities with the group and updated them. A copy will be available on the new website.

(iii) The information for replacing the electric hub in Jubilee Gardens is all in hand and will be submitted for the next round of bids.

The meeting was closed at 9.20pm

Initials in brackets indicate action required please