Thursday, 14 July 2011

Newmarket, Suffolk - and some costly Chinese balls

Sue and I live near Newmarket. Sue was born in Newmarket. We were married at All Saints' Church, Newmarket, nearly fifty years ago.

Above are the infamous Newmarket balls. They came from China and they cost a mint. They were intended to enhance and to improve 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 (where there is a Town Council which only looks after part - the Suffolk part - of the Town) would be better served by its being within the County of Cambridgeshire, the County town of which is nearby Cambridge, and the District of East Cambridgeshire.

East Cambridgeshire District Councillor, Mr Tom Kerby (pictured right), who lives in Newmarket, has raised again the vexed issue of the situation of Newmarket, split as it is between Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Counties and their respective County Councils and East Cambridgeshire and Forest Heath District Councils.

Mr Kerby raised the issue in the Newmarket Journal, our much-loved local newspaper.

I wrote to the Newmarket Journal and have had published today the following:

"Full marks to Cllr. Tom Kerby for his welcome opinions on the welfare of Newmarket.

I have lived near Newmarket, but in Cambridgeshire, all of my life. I have always looked to Newmarket for what I need. Indeed, I looked to Newmarket for a wife and married Sue (née Day), daughter of Fred and Peggy, at the former Cambridgeshire Church of All Saints nearly fifty years ago. In those days, the town was both busy and attractive. Sadly, it is less so now.

I believe that most of Newmarket and all of Exning have suffered from being so distant from their principal bases of local government - Mildenhall and Ipswich - and I believe that they would both benefit from closer connections with Cambridgeshire.

There is another factor, too. The villages that surround Newmarket are mostly in Cambridgeshire. The villagers in those villages have to turn to Ely for some services. How much better things were when there was a Newmarket Rural District Council and a Newmarket Urban District Council, both working from and in Newmarket.

It is high time for the odd historical quirk of the County boundary to be ironed out. There will be resistance from certain elements in Suffolk, as there was from the self-interested then MP Sir Eldon Griffiths in earlier days.

I wish Tom Kerby well. Many of us have worked on similar lines for many decades."

I am confident that this will run and run - and so it should until sense prevails.

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