Monday, 4 January 2010

All of Newmarket ought to be in Cambridgeshire!

These are the famous Newmarket balls. They came from China and they cost a mint. They were intended to enhance the old Newmarket Jubilee Clock Tower traffic roundabout. Many people believe that they are an expensive eyesore, out of keeping with their surroundings. They are sited within the area of Newmarket controlled by Suffolk County Council, based in Ipswich, and Forest Heath District Council, based in Mildenhall. Some people - including me - say that the whole Town of Newmarket would be better served by it being within the County of Cambridgeshire, served from Cambridge, and the District of East Cambridgeshire, whose present Chairman, my friend Councillor Peter Cresswell, lives in Newmarket.

This is the famous Newmarket Stallion statue that was erected by public subscription and stands proudly at the centre of the Stetchworth traffic roundabout at the junction of the approach roads to Newmarket (the A1303 from Cambridge and the A1304 from London). This fine and stylish work of art epitomises for me not only statuary at its most magnificent but also what much of Newmarket and the Town's history and business are all about. Though the statue was paid for by businesses and residents of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and well beyond, I am absolutely delighted that it stands within the County of Cambridgeshire, the District of East Cambridgeshire and the constituency of South East Cambridgeshire.

1 comment:

  1. To Newmarket today (hence the above) to do several bits of business. Newmarket is 'my' town. It is also Sue's town: she was born there nearly seventy years ago. I went to a kindergarten school (called Fairlawn, run by the late Misses Gertie and May Hardwick) at Newmarket and that was where I first met Sue. Her family's house, called Bridlemere, was two doors along from Fairlawn. I love Newmarket and I love my wife.

    Because I love Newmarket, it makes me angry when I go there and see what 'the powers-that-be' - Suffolk County Council and Forest Heath District Council - have done to those parts of the town that are under their control and of what little service they are to either motorist or pedestrian.

    I parked in what is now called 'The Guineas' car park (it used to be called 'The Rookery' car park but the name was changed and all of the signs have been changed, too, presumably at considerable expense).

    The Guineas car park is the worst and most useless car park that I know. The access is not easy. I do not drive a large car, but the marked spaces are only big enough for such as the older Minis (the newer and larger ones would have the same difficulty as I do getting into a space). Admittedly, the first thirty minutes are free (provided one obtains a ticket, the obtaining of which can take up to five of those precious minutes), but charges are levied for any stay over the said thirty minutes. Does anybody on Forest Heath District Council ever consider what detrimental effect these charges have on the town's hard-pressed High Street businesses? I guess not. And getting out of the car park is also a nightmare. The new traffic arrangements at and near the old Jubilee Clock Tower (complete with its Chinese balls) and the new Waitrose are almost too complicated for me, and I am a local. Does anybody on Suffolk County Council ever consider how uninviting all this is for visitors to this world-famous place? I guess not.

    On an icy cold day like today, one might have hoped that the pavements would have been salted. Nothing. Nix. Not a light dusting. Nowt. I watched several other old people take their lives in their hands. I said, 'Mind how you go' to some of them. They and I could see and feel the danger only too clearly.

    And the once-wide High Street that allowed vehicles to park 'skew-ways' (like some small towns in America) now has extra-wide pavements (unsalted, of course) with ugly, stupid (and empty) plant tubs on them placed every few yards in order further to obstruct pedestrians. Where the street is still wide enough, it appears that taxis now monopolise most of the available stopping bays and spaces.

    I just wish that the whole of Newmarket were under the more helpful control of the admittedly imperfect Cambridgeshire County Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council. (I hope that the latter does not introduce parking charges at Ely). The outskirts of the town of Newmarket are in Cambridgeshire and East Cambridgeshire and in the constituency of South East Cambridgeshire: why not all of the rest?

    Bring back the old Newmarket Urban and Rural District Councils, both of which were run by the late Major Sidney Ennion, Sue's great uncle by marriage, or, better still, the old Newmarket Board of Guardians, which was run for many years by two of Sue's great grandfathers, Francis Norman Bocock (1853 - 1932), and Arthur Robert Catchpole (1856 - 1935). I am not joking: I know you think that I am.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.