Will Werrington Residents have to pay more Council tax?

The Green, Werrington, Peterbrough

You may have recently seen that the Peterborough City Council have been consulting on the idea of a Werrington Area Forum?

If not you might like to read:

The DEADLINE for having your say is Friday 18 January 2019.

Comments on the application can be submitted either:

  • via email: planningpolicy@peterborough.gov.uk
  • in writing to: Sustainable Growth Strategy, Peterborough City Council, Sand Martin House, Bittern Way, Fletton Quays, Peterborough PE2 8TY

Werrington Neighbourhood Area

Just from the map alone, I am a tad confused. In so much that Corfe Avenue seems to have bee included in the Werrington area map (above), yet most people know this as part of Walton?

While, several households along Fulbridge Road seem to have been omitted, despite their neighbours literally across the road being included?

I thought this was due to the waterway, but given Hythegate, Lakeside, Gildale and Thornemead have been included, so it can’t be that?

Also, any new tier of government surely needs to be representative? Given that the Werrington “area” has nearly 10,000 residents …. Presently, 96% of planned Werrington Forum Members identify as ethnically White, there are no Members of any Ethnic Minority who live in the area, 82% of members are aged 50+, only 1 member is aged below 40 and just 4.5% do not identify as a Homeowner.

Questions I have …

I have now sent in some queries and questions to those involved, some of which included:

  1. How many people actually make up the “Werrington Area Forum” and who are they?
  2. How many responses have you received to date, in regards the application?
  3. Will there be a legal requirement for a certain number of members of the Werrington Area Forum, and what would happen if, down the line there were only a couple of people (or maybe no one) who wanted to be involved with the Werrington Forum?
  4. It mentions that the minimum number of members will be 21, just wondered why this was the number?
  5. Who decides who will be a Full Member and how are they chosen?
  6. Will members be able to claim expenses?
  7. Will there be any plans to add a Council Tax precept?
  8. Will there be a minimum number of attendees at AGMs in order to make them legitimate?

You might like to know that in areas where they have a Parish Council, they also have to pay extra Council Tax. Whilst, this proposed new tier of local government will not be a Parish Council, I do think it is important that local residents know sooner rather than later if there are plans to add a precept.

As always, please let me know your thoughts below.

Should you wish to contact Werrington Area Forum with general queries about the group, or about their neighbourhood plan, please contact Sally Weald (werringtonneighbourhoodcouncil@gmail.com).

Uldale Way “firearm” resident in Court

Uldale Way

You may have read recently in the PT, about Calvin Jackson of Uldale Way (Gunthorpe) who was charged with:

  • possession of a firearm,
  • possession of prohibited ammunition,
  • possession of an offensive weapon in a public place,
  • two counts of possession of a firearm during a five-year period following a suspended sentence
  • and producing a Class B drug.

Well he’s due in court this month, so hopefully we will find out more and if found guilty, he’ll be dealt with appropriately!

If you have any information that you think the police might be interested in knowing, to call 101, alternatively you can have a look at the September crime figures for the Gunthorpe ward, by visiting here!

Crime remains a concern for many local residents, especially as on Theresa May’s watch, police numbers have been cut by 20,000 and most experts know that cuts to the police force endanger communities and endanger police officers too.

Therefore, it’s my opinion that we need to face facts and look for a government that will provide officers, police community support officers and civilian staff with the equipment and people they need to provide effective policing services!

FYI – I have now requested an update from the Police Crime Commissioner on what action plans he has in place to address concerns of drugs and firearms locally, once he has responded I will of course share.

As always, please feel free to let me know your thoughts below!

 

Potholes at Hallfields Lane and Derwent Drive set to be repaired!

Glad to say it looks like the Council are about to get around to sorting out several of the potholes along Hallfields Lane and Derwent Drive, that have been in need of repair for some weeks now!

Continue reading Potholes at Hallfields Lane and Derwent Drive set to be repaired!

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.

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

Grass gets cut at #TudorClose

After being contacted by local residents, who were wondering why a small section of grass had seemingly been ignored, during recent cutting exercises, I’m now glad to say that the work has been done.

Q: Why was it? A: According to some, Cross Keys used to do the whole job, as most of the land belongs to them.

But, now they seem to be leaving the smaller section and central area that is owned by the local authority, to be cut by Peterborough City Council?

You’d think one of them would just do the whole job in one go and then, at worst, send a small invoice to the other?

I’ve now emailed the CEO of Cross Keys and the Corporate Director at the Council, to see what they have to say and if they can sort out a suitable setup for the future?

Less Trading Standards = More RISK to older people!

Trading Standards in Peterborough

According Age UK, trading standards budgets have been cut by some 50% over the last 7 years.

The result? Millions of older people are at a greater risk of becoming victims of fraud.

Did YOU see?

In April 2018, local media reported that Directors of a Peterborough firm which pressure sold beds and chairs to elderly and vulnerable residents were jailed.

Judge Cooper said of Geoffrey and Jaqueline Turner, of Hall Lane (Werrington), “You chose to impoverish customers mentally, intellectually, emotionally and financially.”

What else…?

Age UK also said it believed 2/5’s of older people (nearly 5 million over 65’s), believe they’ve been targeted by scammers.

What do I think?

I think the Tory government must ensure trading standards services are properly resourced, and that they stop giving them additional duties on top of their core role of protecting residents and stopping rogue traders.

What have I done?

I have now requested an update on the present state of play, from Directors at Peterborough City Council, in respect of staff numbers and budget levels, and whether these have changed over the last few years.

Once I have details on this I will of course share it with you.

For more information relating to Peterborough City Council’s Trading Services, please VISIT HERE!

Peterborough will pilot Government integration plans!

Immigration

The Government has chosen Peterborough, along with 4 other local authorities, to develop an integration plan, as part of a national strategy for England.

According to the Peterborough 2011 Census, in “10.0% of households no one has English as a main language.”

Like others, I do have my concerns around this announcement.

As from my own experiences, integration challenges are not uniform throughout the city, with different areas and communities having varying needs.

The Government has promised some £50m will be committed to the new strategy over the next 2 years.

According to the Government the “ambitious, long-term plan of action’ would ‘tackle the root causes of poor integration and create a stronger, more united Britain” by boosting English language skills, increasing opportunities for women and promoting British values in education.

I also remain confused as to why in our city, students over the years have been forced to learn German or French rather than Urdu or Mandarin? Plus, I would be concerned if we lost our city’s image as a proud and successful diverse society.

With that in mind, I’ve now asked the Councils Director for People & Communities:

  1. How much of the £50m has been allocated to Peterborough City Council?
  2. Is there a plan for what the money will be spent on yet and if so what is it?
  3. What has the Council been doing in recent years to help people integrate into their communities and how much of a budget does this action require each year?
  4. Also, the reports say funding for English speakers of other languages has fallen by 50%, so how much do we allocate in Peterborough for supporting English speakers of other languages and what services does that include?

What’s YOUR thoughts? Please feel FREE to let me know below!

Bit of Fun….!

Take the British Citizenship Test! PS – I scored: 75%

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%?

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

#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.

Hallfields lane parking concerns………

Hallfields Lane

Do you live along Hallfields Lane? Do you think that there is a problem with the way some cars park?

A couple of residents have recently contacted me, and said that it’s become a real problem, with anti social parking on Hallfields Lane.

Given that Hallfields Lane has a shop, a School, a Community Centre and a Recreational Area on it, it’s no surprise that it is well used by pedestrians.

Some of the reports from residents have included concerns about cars parking on the pavement and also obstructing crossing points.

If you have a view or comment on this then please do post it below!

Have YOU had YOUR say yet?

If you’ve not done so already, please do let me have your thoughts on local issues via the Resident Survey, by VISITING HERE! (Only takes about 15 seconds to complete!)