Mark Cooney's Manifesto

By-election for North Ward in Ely on October 6th

2My record speaks for itself. Since moving to Ely I have changed the face of local media in an old fashioned but progressive City – yet I am still just an ordinary person who goes to work, pays rent, pays bills and lives on a weekly basis dependant on my pay.
I have helped all councils where I can including technical help on the two concerts run by Ely City Council, promoting local days out and youth projects.
I created Spotted in Ely – a platform for everyone in our amazing city to come together – and that platform continues to grow every day. That community input has given me a valuable insight into local issues and opinions  – so I’ve decided to stand on October 6th as your new City Councillor for the North Ward under the City of Ely Council.
I don’t have a fancy job or house, I don’t drive fancy cars or have a rich history and have not built up a portfolio of properties. Like many I live in the real world but also want to improve that world and my community – which I think why I believe becoming a councillor is my next step.

MINOR INJURIES UNIT

By far the hottest topic in Ely, closing the Minor Injuries Unit would be catastrophic. Together with Emma Watson, Spotted in Ely launched a campaign to #saveourminorinjuriesunit from closing on the day the news broke of the CCG’s plans. We’ve consistently campaigned to save the MIU and have helped Emma’s petition gather over 4,000 signatures, putting real pressure on the CCG.
I will continue to push the CCG and NHS to improve local services rather than take them away from Ely.

INFRASTRUCTURE

It often feels like Ely’s infrastructure is crumbling around us. More people moving into the City with zero increase in services. Doctors with no appointments, dentists giving preference to private patients and roads with too many accidents and gridlocks on a weekly basis.
Thousands more people are set to move to Ely over the next few years and these services need urgent attention now and not when the demand has been surpassed and broken.

HOUSING

Ely has become one of the most desirable places in the UK to live. This has caused a hike in house prices which rise year on year.
Affordable housing is now a thing of the past. I plan to explore Government initiatives such as first time buyer discounts and home for life schemes.  I will also push developers of the housing plots in the North Ward to prioritise giving help to first time buyers.
Why has building work not begun on the Cam Drive development? Is it because developers are looking for more money for each plot or because builders are waiting for a further increase in property values. Regardless, permission has been granted so BUILD!

ROADS & TRANSPORT

Many of our roads are a mess. Potholes, constant roadworks at inconvenient times and blockages due to bad parking & deliveries. I would look to make any company who digs up a road and does not restore the surface to an exemplary standard accountable.
I have already been involved in many bad parking issues, especially on Forehill with Blue Badge holders when Broad Street disabled bays are empty. Every time I have been involved the Police have taken action but I will work to make the necessary authorities act all of the time.
This brings me onto road safety. With many cycle paths currently being built in Cambridgeshire, Ely has a growing population taking to the bicycle but are the new cycleways being used to their potential? Education in cycling is needed, not just by cyclists but for drivers also. This starts more often than not in schools and over the summer we helped a cycling campaign at Ely College and would look to the council to fund more.

YOUTH

We often hear negatives about our youth as well as the positives. An Ely Youth Forum was set up some 5 years ago but then disbanded after just a few short months. I was very much involved in setting up the Youth Day and took several weeks off work to make this happen which resulted in a Youth Flashmob on the Market Square and Exhibition of Youth Organisations in the Leisure Centre.
I would look to the City Council to start this over and this time involve the youth from all over Ely including the North Ward.
Furthermore I have been for the past 3 months petitioning the Lakenheath Media Officer to restore the American Park near the hospital and this week received an email assuring me that work will begin shortly. However we need to look at how to protect the park from vandalism in the future.

LOCALISM

Staying local is the key to a local business community. Your neighbour or yourself may work for a locally grown business and these are the ones the council should help nurture. Keeping money local means a stronger local economy and more jobs as well as goodwill and tourism.
With technology moving forward at an alarming rate and poor mobile signal in Ely, it’s time the councils, City and District looked at City Centre WiFi. We already have CambsWiFi installed in the key areas and this could easily be extended at a low cost to cover all the busy areas of Ely.

INFORMATION

Information from a governing body is often sketchy at best or you can never find the information online. Do you know what happens behind closed doors at your local council? This is why many councils are seen in a bad light and more often than not people say that politicians are out of touch and ignore their voters.
I would look to keep a public journal (obviously keeping discretion when needed) so that you can see on a daily/weekly basis what councillors do and how decisions are made. Councillors represent you – and should be as accountable and transparent as possible.

SUMMARY

Let’s make Ely a great city of fair opportunities for everyone! Elect Mark Cooney as your Independent City Councillor for the North Ward on the 6th October and get someone who likes to get things DONE rather just talk about it.
Should you have any questions I am available via email on mark@spottedinely.com or by calling 07778576470.

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