#ElectoralFraud “We chose to be part” of the scheme – Says PCC CEO!

Peterborough Elections

As reported in the recent Peterborough Telegraph article, our city will be one of 8 areas in England to take part in a scheme to help combat electoral fraud, in this years local elections on May 3rd.

Given there are 353 councils in England, this means 98% of authorities are not taking part, so in a way, we are a bit special here in Peterborough!

What to expect?

  • Council officers hand delivering postal voting packs and completing face-to-face surveys with postal voters to stress the importance of completing the vote themselves.
  • A second round of face-to-face surveys will be completed after the postal vote returns to check residents put an X in the box themselves.
  • Face-to-face surveys to be completed at random computer generated addresses throughout the city over the coming weeks.
  • All proxy voters will be required to produce photographic identification at polling stations before being issued with a ballot paper to vote on another person’s behalf.

Why is this happening?

It mainly relates back to the electoral fraud in 2004, when ex-Tory Mayor of Peterborough Raja Akhtar and ex-Labour Mayor Mohammed Choudhary were jailed, for interfering with postal votes in Central Ward during council elections.

Also jailed for the same offence, were ex-Labour official Tariq Mahood, ex-Labour candidate Maqbool Hussein, ex-Conservative councillor Abdul Razaq and ex-Conservative candidate Mohammed Khaliq.

What do I think?

It’s sad. But I guess it’s needed? That said, it reminds me that a) I believe that the first past the post voting system needs to be replaced with proportional representation and, b) I believe we need to start using electronic voting, and that this shows it is no less secure than the conventional means of casting your vote.

Do you know some dodgy goings on?

  • The council has set up an election fraud hotline and anyone who has any concerns can report them by calling 01733 452277.
  • If you believe an act of malpractice is ongoing call police on 101 or 999.
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Bretton Water park, now set to STAY OPEN?

image_update_55449ed6303fc2cb_1345887083_9j-4aaqsk

At the start of February 2018 ,the Peterborough Telegraph reported that Peterborough City Council as part of it’s budget proposals had “..declared it will no longer run the popular family attraction in Flaxland in order to save £18,000 a year.”

At a time of bumper pay for senior councillors and officers at the town hall, and another hike in council tax, many local people were not happy!

Read more

The Manor isn’t closing, says PCC! So why are parents panicking?

City Council
Trying to understand the City Council is not easy when they themselves are not sure what they have been saying!

You may have read recently in the Peterborough Telegraph, that Nazreen Bibi, whose daughter Mirdyea Shahzadi (19) is severely autistic and needs 24-hour care, was concerned that local parents could struggle if The Manor, a respite home for children and young people with disabilities, closed.

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Council boasting that it fines cyclists! #EnvironmentalCapitalMyArse

Bridge Street - Peterborough

The Peterborough Telegraph recently reported that “Cyclists caught riding their bikes on Bridge Street have been hit in the pocket at court.

Is it me, or does that seem a tad contradictory for a local authority that claims, it wishes to be “regarded as the UK’s Environment Capital“? Read more

Council boasting that it fines cyclists! #EnvironmentalCapitalMyArse

Bridge Street - Peterborough

The Peterborough Telegraph recently reported that “Cyclists caught riding their bikes on Bridge Street have been hit in the pocket at court.

Is it me, or does that seem a tad contradictory for a local authority that claims, it wishes to be “regarded as the UK’s Environment Capital“?

  • It seems even more hypocritical when you note that in Peterborough City Council‘s own Environment Action Plan, states an aim to become a “pedestrian, public transport and cycle first city and 90% of all journeys will be zero emission.
  • The position becomes even more demented, when you note read that the Council’s Environment Action Plan – City-Wide document, says they want to “encourage more people to reduce their reliance on cars and instead walk, cycle…”
  • You may remember that in 2012, I put forward the suggestions for a cycle lane along Bridge Street?
  • I even ran a petition that received hundreds of supporters for the idea.
  • I went to the effort of putting a formal motion at a meeting of Full Council calling for the Council to introduce a cycle lane along Bridge Street, but sadly the Tories all voted against the idea.

Rohan Wilson, area manager for Cambridgeshire Sustrans, a group which campaigns for improved cycle networks, pointed out that at Cathedral Square and Long Causeway, pedestrians and cyclists co-exist, adding “We believe that could be repeated in Bridge Street.”

What do YOU think?

 

 

 

 

Council’s waste contract ENDED 16 years early! #WhatNow?

Amey - Peterborough

This time last year, the Peterborough Telegraph were reporting that the Conservative controlled City Council were “..to terminate their waste contract with Amey in a bid to save £100,000 every year.”

Don’t forget, that was the same contract, previously signed by the same Conservatives, and basically meant that they were ending it 16 years early!

Then at the end of last year, it was reported that the cancellation was set to cost local taxpayers £500,000!

This latest news (see above video), shows how bizarre the whole thing is, with Tories who run East Cambs Council stating they’ll bring their waste collection services in-house, while Tories in neighbouring Peterborough, seem determined to continue down the private sector route?

Me? I think this services and others should of course be run by the local authority!

At the end of the day, you pay your council tax in return for services, sadly in our city we’ve reached a point where we get told by bods at the Town Hall, “Sorry, that service is now run by a Trust, Private Company or ALMO.”

So basically, we now pay more Council Tax than ever before in our history and receive less services and have less control over them??

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts or hear your experiences! Please take a moment to post them below!

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?

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Tories use Terrorism as reason for taking belongings of homeless people!

Homelessness

Earlier this year I stood up at a meeting of Full Council and raised concerns, asking whether, under the Tory controlled City Council’s proposed Public Space Protection Orders, blankets, bags, and belongings of homeless individuals would be removed from the street due to health and safety risks.

Tory Councillor Irene Walsh responded by saying, “…if a situation arose that presented a public safety risk, then that must be dealt with. It was not considered, however, that the private belongings would be removed without need.”

It was then reported in the Peterborough Telegraph, that:

“Unattended items may also pose a security risk which cannot be overlooked, particularly in light of the recent terrorist events….”

In my opinion, homeless people already have very few items, and don’t exactly have access to lockers to leave their bits and bobs in, when they need to? Perhaps this is something the Council could offer?

Imagine returning after day of being alienated, to find that everything you have has gone!

This growing homelessness shames the Conservatives.

The spiralling rise in street homelessness results directly from decisions made nationally and locally by the Conservatives on pay, housing, mental health and social security.

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Tory councillors want you to think they actually care about the homeless situation in Peterborough! 😦

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#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!

#ToriesAtTheTownHall backtrack on Peterborough Lottery plans!

Mayor of Peterborough

As reported by the Peterborough Telegraph, Tory controlled Peterborough City Council has said it is “to pause the project“, claiming they need focus instead on social care provision and homelessness?

Tory Lottery Timeline:

JAN 2017Tories announce Peterborough local lottery, boasting it’ll see local good causes win £23,000 in 2017/18 and then £62,000 in the following years.

JULY 2017 – Scheme given “green light” by Tory Cabinet, Cllr Holdich claimed it would mean they could spend more £’s on on “the services that we have a duty to provide for our residents, in particular protecting and caring for the elderly, young and vulnerable.

NOV 2017Peterborough lottery is essentially cancelled! With the Council claiming it had decided to pause the project because “the council needs to focus its effort on strategic items“.

I wonder how much money and officer time has been spent so far “looking into this” idea?

Reminds me of when the Tories spent £70k looking into the unpopular idea of a casino for our city!

Please let me know YOUR thoughts and opinions below!

Homlessness
Council claims they’ve seen a 200% rise in the number of homeless families requiring temporary accommodation between 20015-2017.