Action now on climate crisis, not more long term targets!

Buses in Peterborough

At the end of last month, the Conservative controlled City Council in Peterborough have proposed that 4 March 2020, as the day Full Council is asked to adopt the Carbon Management Action Plan, is designated as a ‘climate action day’ whereby the council encourages staff and residents to do their ‘extra bit’ to reduce their carbon impact on that day.

At the start of this month, Tory Council Leader, John Holdich, was reported as saying, “The action that we can take individually and as a city can make a difference and it also sends out a clear message that we must all change our ways. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to do so.”

What does Darren think?

The bottom line is that this Conservative controlled City Council has not taken the action that is really required.

  • Why are the Council saying they’ll get rid of the Mayors gas guzzling car in the future, why not get rid of it now?
  • Why are Councillors affording themselves massively discounted car parking passes, rather than discounted bus passes or cycles?
  • Why have the Tories at the Town Hall spent 20 years advocating that the car is king and neglecting and cutting funding to bus services?

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If we are to cut air pollution, tackle the climate crisis and reduce the chances of children in Peterborough getting asthma, cancer or respiratory problems, we need strong action from the City Council now, not more long term targets.

We also need the Conservative government that immediately invests to expand the UK’s charging network, so it can support the majority of vehicles by 2030.

We need a scrappage scheme for polluting cars, and we need measures to enable business and local authority fleets to go 100% electric ASAP.

What do YOU think? Please let me know below!

3 things in the Tory budget, that WILL affect people like YOU in this area!

Peterborough City Council Officer Pay Rises
The other year, senior Council Staff received bumper pay rises. One of them got a £30,000 pay rise!

The latest budget proposals have now been passed by the Tory controlled City Council, despite opposition from the Labour Group, and will see millions of pounds worth of cuts to services for this area.

  • If you’ve not read the Budget Document yet, then you can do so NOW by visiting here!
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The Tories have been running the Council for 20 years ……….!

What Darren Thinks:

There are a large number of cuts and hikes proposed, but here’s the 3 that I think most people in this area will notice:

  1. YOUR COUNCIL TAX WILL INCREASE: The Tories intend to increase YOUR council tax bill by 4% over the next 3 years i.e. 12% between now and 2023. Don’t forget, on top of that you have the Police and Fire Service charges.
  2. DIMMING STREET LIGHTS: Conservatives have agreed to dim street lights in residential areas by 20% between 9.30pm and 5am, on traffic routes by 20% between 9pm and midnight, and by 40% between midnight and 5am.
  3. STREET CLEANING BUDGET CUT: Cons have agreed to cut the street cleaning budget, which will also see a “reduction in city-wide stain washing” and in the response time to a majority of Fly-tipping – People could have to wait a week for its removal.

Is that all?

No! There’s also the cuts to; Disability Peterborough, youth services, heating grants to most vulnerable, budget for road safety, school transport service, anti-social behaviour team etc

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Don’t forget …

That the same Tories at the Town Hall moaning about not having enough money, are:

  • The same Tories who have increased your Council Tax to the max, over each of the last few years.
  • The same Tories, as the ones in Government, who have made the cuts to local authority grants.
  • The same Tories, who, over the last ten years, have been urging and campaigning for people to vote Conservative, despite knowing full well of the party’s policies of austerity.
  • The same Tories, who now get paid more in allowances than ever before in Peterborough’s history. For example; Council Leader, Cllr John Holdich received £22,739.54 in 2010/11 and in 2018/19 pocketed £42,756.85 (an 85% increase during the period of austerity), Tory Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Cllr Peter Hiller got paid £22,293.98 in 2010/11 and received £25,755.00 in 2018/19 (a 16% increase, PLUS his wife got a job at the Council the other year, which I’m sure is above board, but its extra £’s into the household, plus pension etc) and then there’s Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, who in 2010/11 got £7,962.08 in allowances and then in 2018/19 got £30,907.08 in his bank account (that’s a 288% increase in his Council pay).

Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership was “not up to standard”

Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership
It was previously claimed funding for a University in Peterborough had been secured, thanks to the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP…..

You may have recently read in the Peterborough Telegraph, that “MPs have criticised an organisation [Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP)] which funded infrastructure projects in Peterborough before being liquidated.”

Read more

Barnet Council won’t buy anymore houses in our city!

Barnet Council
Last year we discovered that Barnet Council had bought 28 city properties, in order to move their own homeless families in to, despite our own city facing a housing crisis forcing local people to wait more than a year for a home.

At the time, we also discovered that the Conservative controlled City Council, had no idea that this had happened!

Read more

Barnet Council won’t buy anymore houses in our city!

Barnet Council
Last year we discovered that Barnet Council had bought 28 city properties, in order to move their own homeless families in to, despite our own city facing a housing crisis forcing local people to wait more than a year for a home.

At the time, we also discovered that the Conservative controlled City Council, had no idea that this had happened!

Read more

#ToriesAtTheTownHall gave millions of £’s to Carillion … !

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At the latest meeting of Full Council, at the Town Hall, I stood up and asked the Conservative Cabinet Member for Resourcese at Peterborough City Council, if he could:

“….let me know the names of each of the Cabinet Members that signed off on any Executive Decision relating to procuring services from Carillion, when the last Executive Decision was signed off and how much money the Council has borrowed and given to the aforementioned company?”

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Council spent £260,000+ in less than 2 years, on ONE external marketing company!

Bayard Place

At the latest meeting of Full Council, I discovered that the cash-strapped Conservative controlled City Council have wasted well over £260,000, in less than 2 years, on hiring external bods to undertake communication and marketing work, that many people would think their own staff should be able to manage?

Read more

It’s been 6 years since #NorwoodSchool fence issue was settled …

Elter Walk

Did you know it’s been 6 years since the Norwood School fence issue was finally settled? Initially, things were running smoothly, but that now seems to have changed?

Since the initial voluntary key holders were no longer able to continue locking and unlocking the gates at the weekends, the school has done nothing to ensure that the gates, as per the agreement and signage that hangs on the fence, are open to members of public, outside of school hours.

I’ve since been contacted by local residents, and in response I stood up and raised the issue at a meeting of Full Council.

I asked Cllr John Holdich, Tory leader of Peterborough City Council, if he could provide me, and residents, with a response as to what they can do to make sure that the school does unlock the gates outside of school hours, to benefit local children, enabling them to play safely, make the land accessible to wheelchair users, and encourage the use of this green open space for a range of leisure activities?

Map of Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Fr8hhVJ3epu

Norwood School

Councillor Holdich responded:

“Initially and for the first few years of the use of the field, the school caretaker was opening the school field at around 4.15 after school clubs finished, and then the 21 members of the community were locking the gates at dusk to prevent access during dark and prevent unwanted use. This was the agreement for community use. There have been several different community key holders over this period.

“Unfortunately the community failed in locking the gates in the evening and so the gates remained open all night. As a matter of safeguarding and preventing night time use the school decided to leave the gates locked. This has appeared to have been no problem whatsoever as far as the school is aware no complaints to the school made in the last two of years and therefore the gates have remained locked.”

Do you agree with Tory Cllr Holdich that the “community failed” on this?

Or

Do you think its strange that land owned by local people and tax payers, is inaccessible despite an agreement to make it so, that wheelchair users specifically are affected, and why a school that employs a caretaker to open up and lock the other gates at the front of the school, can’t afford the time to do the same for the ones on the field?

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Why is it so hard sometimes in Peterborough to find a solution??

Previous Articles:

#StandUpForPeterborough = What a load of tosh!

#StandUpForPeterborough
The majority of City Councillors did not attend the launch……..

You may have read on the Peterborough Telegraph website about the launch of a campaign by the Tory controlled City Council to “lobby the Government for more money to protect services” in our city?

Now when austerity measures started over seven years ago, Tories at the Town Hall used to fulminate against opposition councillors who talked about “cuts in services” and instead declared such measures were about “efficiency” and reducing waste etc

#StandUpForPeterborough
Some say that since, Finance Director John Harrison left the local authority, the Tories at the Town Hall are simply bereft of ideas!

Now as far as I can see, for all the bluster, this #StandUpForPeterborough essentially involves senior Tories having a day out in London, presumably at the expense of local tax payers, and then handing in a strongly worded letter to downing street?

“Like the senior bods in Whitehall, give a monkeys about the Boro Cons or what they think!!”

#StandUpForPeterborough
CEO of the Council, Gillian Beasley, who’s salary is reported to be around £180,000 a year, has talked about the need to protect peoples jobs!

It’s my opinion that, the Conservatives (who’ve been in power at the Town Hall for 17 years), have run out of ideas and things/services to sell, hence they’ve decided to launch this campaign.

Why did they not launch this campaign several years ago when front-line staff were losing their jobs?

Perhaps, now that roles of senior and better paid peeps at the Town Hall are under threat, that’s the reason?

“It’s a bit like someone who mugs you, then offering to help you find the person who mugged you?”

#StandUpForPeterborough
Senior Council Officer talks outside St Peter’s Arcade, where last year the Tory controlled Council spent £8,024 on 2 security guards to work for 19 days over Xmas – Some say to put off homeless people from taking shelter there?

Also, let’s not forget that these are the same Tories who have been making financial contributions to, supporting and encouraging others to vote for, the Conservative Party in Government?

So they are the ones who have enabled us to reach this financially impractical position?

The reality is, there is ONLY one way to ensure an end to Government austerity measures, and that’s to STOP voting Conservative at local and general elections!

#StandUpForPeterborough
Ironically, the Council used footage of the “rusty” barrier in one of their videos, the one they spent £600,000 on!

What are YOUR thoughts? Please do POST a comment below!

By the way, it’s NOT just me!

During a recent interview on BBC Radio Cambs, ex-Tory Leader of the Council and Mayor, Cllr John Peach was asked his views on the campaign …. listen as he fails to support the concept below!

Peterborough City Council set to pay £10m on their debt interest alone!

CouncilMoney

For over 17 years, the Tories have been in control of Peterborough City Council.

In recent years, I’ve noticed a regular stream of announcements from the Town Hall, relating to the Council borrowing money, and so thought I would ask how much in debt we are in here in Peterborough.

At a formal meeting, I therefore held the Tory leader to account, and requested to know how much we owed as a local authority.

Cllr John Holdich responded that, as of a few months ago, Peterborough City Council had a debt of around £395,000,000 – with repayment of the loans ranging from 2 months to 49 years!

And, the total interest payment over the life of the “present” outstanding debt would be £405,000,000 – which equates to £10,000,000 paying just for the interest!

  • Speaking at the start of the year, the same Cllr John Holdich told the Peterborough Telegraph, “Since 2010 (when the Tories got into government) our central government grant has been cut by over half – a reduction of £57 million”, so it does make you wonder why he and his Conservative cronies have continued to vote for the Tories at Westminster?