Have Tories handed hundreds of thousands of £’s to their Marketing buddies!?

Your Peterborough

This year, the Tories at the Town Hall have announced plans to share their communication services, including media, marketing, internal communications and their website, with Cambridgeshire County Council – with the aim of saving them £2.6m over the next three years.

Sound sensible? Maybe.

But what they don’t tell you is the millions of pounds they’ve already wasted on unwanted publications and the hundreds of thousands they’ve handed out to “certain” local media or marketing individuals in the city!

giphy

For example, in one year alone, and despite cutting services at the time, they:

giphy-1

Now, I’m sure that the decision to use these companies was completely above board.

However, I would add that a) There are quite a lot of other marketing and communication companies in our city and b) Why did they simply not just temporarily use Cambs County Council (or another neighbouring authority) communications team?

And any suggestions that such contracts are agreed over a pint in a Barnack pub, are I am sure, totally unfounded!

giphy-2
The Council spent local tax payers money, telling them how well they were doing!

Remember Your Peterborough

The Conservative controlled City Council, launched the Your Peterborough magazine, commonly identified as the Councils own propaganda newsletter, over a decade ago.

When it launched, it used to be published 10 times a year, at a cost of around £12,000 per edition.

They then reduced it down to six editions a year. Then, they reduced it to once a year, then they reduced it’s size and now it seems it’s just available on line?

The bottom line, is that since it’s creation, millions have been spent on it and as far as I can see, the only people to really benefit are the people paid to print and design it!?

What I said ….

At a previous meeting of Full Council, I stood up and said to the Conservative controlled City Council:

“In December 2016 you told me you’d paid Athene Communications over £300k in less
than two years to do work that many in this city believe should be able to be done by
your own Media and Communications Team.

“Since this Tory regime took control of this city council, they have wasted hundreds of
thousands of pounds by providing unused and unrequired websites for Members and
regularly advertise well paid positions in the media machine including once offering
£90,000 for a Head of Communications.

“Presently frontline staff are struggling, the average individual in this city are having their money stretched and the Council tax is set to rise significantly. Does the Cabinet Member agree with me and others that the idea of chucking money at your mates and their businesses or handing hundreds of thousands of pounds at external PR and media
companies to do the work that our own comms internal marketing officers should be
able to do must end now.”

Plz, let me know YOUR thoughts below!

Guess how many £s PCC got when they flogged their Ferrero Rocher Xmas Tree?

Christmas Tree

When the Tories at the Town Hall in Peterborough, introduced their “fancy” Christmas Tree, which cost £40,000, it ended up being listed by the BBC as one of the most “hopeless” trees in the country!

And now it’s been sold!

giphy

So, from now on, if you “were” a fan of the silver tree you will need to pop along to the Wisbech Town Council events.

You see, because the tree was so lovely, no other Councils wanted it!

But, the Tories in Peterborough were lucky. Their Tory colleagues in Wisbech held “discussions” with them, and agreed to take the tree off their hands.

And the amount they paid? Well, despite the tree costing £40,000 in the first instance, Wisbech Town Council managed to agree a fee of £0 with PCC!

The Wisbech Tories even went to the local media to boast about their coup!!

giphy-1
When Pboro Conservatives claim to be good with managing taxpayers money!

Two other things …

Lights in Gunthorpe and Werrington, set to be dimmed!

Gunthorpe Community Centre

The Councils scheme to save £100k a year, over the next 3 years, by dimming street lights in this area, is now underway.

The idea from the Tories at the Town Hall, will see street lights in residential areas reduced by 20% between 9.30pm and 5am.

Street lights on traffic routes will be dimmed by 20% between 9pm and midnight, and by 40% between midnight and 5am.

The Council say, “street lighting in subways would not be dimmed at all,” – Although having the lights actually working on underpasses is a bonus!

The Tories claim, that this move will save the council money and reduce the energy used.

giphy-3
Do YOU trust the #ToriesAtTheTownHall?

Thing is ……..

  • In the latest Council Press Release, they state, upgrading its street lights (25,000 in total) to LED bulbs, “will save the council £10million over 20 years.” BUT, in 2016, in the official Skanska statement on the works, it claimed, the council hoped “to be able to make financial savings of £25 million over 20 years.” – So the money saved, has somehow declined by £15m over the last couple of years???
  • Also, in the Skanska LED Lighting brochure, it pointed out several benefits to the LED lights, none of which related to turning them down?
  • A few years ago, the Conservative controlled Council, turned off one in three lights on the parkways. Then when they tried to turn them back on, they were all knackered and needed replacing, resulting in thousands and thousands of pounds in repair costs.
Skanska LED Lighting
None of the benefits of LED lighting, previously mentioned anything about dimming the actual lights?

What does Daren think?

giphy-4

Whilst, I am well up for the idea of saving energy, protecting the environment etc I’m not well up for Tories at the Town Hall, putting hard working local residents in this area at risk!

Decent street lighting is a well known crime deterrent, in this area, we have a good number of posties, care workers, dog walkers and parents/children who actually make use of cycle paths and foot-ways. So the idea that these routes will be less lit, does give me some worries.

If the local Tories are serious about the environment, I’d like to see them moving to 100% renewable energy, investing in buses, cycling and electric cars, and making all housing energy efficient to reduce fuel poverty and excess winter deaths.

What do you think? Let me know below ……

Give workers the tools to deal with waste, street cleaning and flytipping…

Amey Van

Before 2010, aspects like waste, street cleaning, flytipping and grass cutting used to be done by the City Council.

Then in 2011, the Tories at the Town Hall, decided to sign a 23-year-contract with Enterprise – which was bought out by Amey in 2013.

Then last year, Conservative controlled Peterborough City Council announced they’d be terminating the waste contract with Amey in a bid to save £100,000 every year.

Read more

Is the number of people in Peterborough using buses on the decline?

Buses in Peterborough

Its been reported that the amount of people using buses in England each year has fallen to its lowest level in a decade – down to 4.38 billion passenger journeys across the country in 2016/17!

You may have recently read in the local media, that local bus prices recently increased, with the price for a single ticket going up by around 3.5%?

Read more

If someone steals your bin ….. you’ll be charged!

Wheelie Bins

Yip! The Tories at the Town Hall have once more been coming up with some super ideas in order to deal with their impending financial deficit, caused either by their own vanity projects or cuts made by their Tory colleagues in central government.

This time they’re proposing that if your bin gets stolen, then to get a replacement you’ll need to pay them £25 for a new bins and £15 for a new food caddy and set of liners.

At this point ………

A) You might be wondering where your Council Tax actually goes and what it gets spent on?

B) You might also remember that these are the same Tories who came up with the idea of charging you to have your brown bin collected a.k.a the Brown Bin Tax.

The bods at the Town Hall are justifying this proposal by talking about “….the number of lost or stolen bins in the city.”

They claim, last year the council spent £144k replacing these.

They also claim that they predict that this cost will rise to £170k in 2018/19.

But give no reason as to why? Perhaps they know of some of some expert bin thieves moving up from London in the near future?

As always, I’d love to know what you think? Please post a comment below!

  • Do YOU use Twitter, have a look at the further proposals in the budget consultation by VISITING HERE!
Tories time is up
Who thinks the Peterborough Tories have lost the plot?

You don’t mind paying MORE for your Brown Bin collection, do you?

Brown Bin - Peterborough

Yip! That’s right, the Tories at the Town Hall have decided that to help them balance their budget, they’re gonna charge YOU more for collecting the brown bin!

As reported in the Peterborough Telegraph, the “£39 annual charge to have garden waste collected will rise to £45”, but no doubt you’re cool with that, right?

What do I think?

Put simply, it’s another schadenfreude policy from the Cons who run the City Council!

Why? Well, by recycling you are helping them reduce their fines for putting rubbish in landfill, so in a logical world you should be rewarded for your efforts, BUT not in Pottyboro, the city that aspires to be Environmental Capital, instead they charge you MORE for helping!

  • Oh, and they also want to charge YOU £25 if YOU lose any of YOUR bins or have them stolen.

PS – Don’t forget to let me know what YOU think, by posting a comment below!

PPS – If you know someone who votes Tory locally, maybe remind them not to in May this year?

You don’t mind paying MORE for your Brown Bin collection, do you?

Brown Bin - Peterborough

Yip! That’s right, the Tories at the Town Hall have decided that to help them balance their budget, they’re gonna charge YOU more for collecting the brown bin!

As reported in the Peterborough Telegraph, the “£39 annual charge to have garden waste collected will rise to £45”, but no doubt you’re cool with that, right? Read more

Why 12 years for Green Backyard?

Green Backyard

You may have read earlier in the year that the Green Backyard’s future had been secured (to a degree), after signing a 12 year lease with Peterborough City Council?

Now, let me be clear, I’m a fan of the Green Backyard and even made a donation to their Save the Green Backyard campaign!

However, I was intrigued why the Tories at the Town Hall, with their history and apparent policy of short-term capital gain, had decided not to sell the land, after they themselves previously claimed the land was valued at £750,000?

So, I decided to ask the Tories about their Executive Decision JAN17/CMDN/08 at a meeting of Full Council.

Tory Councillor Irene Walsh advised that she was not aware of the particular reason behind the 12 year lease period, but would provide a further response to me following clarification. This of course never transpired.

Since the meeting, I’ve discovered that one of the main reasons for not selling the land, according to the City Council was “due to the significant social return of £490,000 that the Green Backyard have been able to demonstrate from their activities with the local community during 2015/2016“, strange that Cllr Walsh did not know this, as it clearly states this in the decision notice signed by her ….. and why was such information ignored or not looked into in previous years?

And why 12 years, and not a 13 or 10 year lease??

I’d love to know your thoughts! Please feel free to post them below!

giphy2
Comprehending Conservative forward planning, is like …………..

Working Group to look at #RhubarbBridge – LATEST

Rhubarb Bridge

A meeting of the City Council’s Cabinet, has agreed to create a Working Group, to look at:

“Whether it is technically and financially feasible to reassign the proportion of the overall budget allocated to demolish the footbridges to instead make significant repairs to the bridge at Junction 18 (Rhubarb Bridge)”

You may remember, the Tories at the Town Hall received something of a backlash, after they announced plans to spend up to £30,000,000 on removing the bridge, and even signed an agreement with Skanska, before seeing what local residents thought?

Some interesting points from the latest report (page 377) include:

  • Approximately 60,000 vehicles use the junction daily, 1,260 pedestrians and 540 cyclists.
  • The Council still claim that not “carrying out an improvement scheme would lead to a significant increase in congestion at this junction associated with the growth of the city and increasing revenue repair costs for the existing network of bridges given their physical condition.”
  • Membership of the group will consist of one elected Member from each of the political groups to ensure cross party representation.
  • It’s expected the group will hold around three meetings. With the first one to be held before the end of the year.
Glinton Bridge
One of TWO bridges that enable school children, pedestrians and cyclists a safe passage A15, and to rise above the air pollution!

My big worry, is that given the huge amount of money involved, there’ll certainly be one or two peeps who want to get their hands on it! And will be devilishly determined to go ahead with the original concept.

Therefore, I personally do hope is that this working group also includes one or two local residents, like those who led on the petition, a rep form the local cycling forum and Sustrans the cycling charity. This has yet to be confirmed.

What do YOU think the Council should do? Please let me know below!