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.”
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!
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?”
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?
- You may have spotted that the Peterborough Telegraph themselves recently reported that between Jan 1, 2016 and Nov 22, 2017, they also spent £12,520 with The Creative Marketing Studio run by a former PECT employee and £12,520 with PS Media, on their funding campaign through the production of video and audio clips.
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
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?
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?
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
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!!”
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?”
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!
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!
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?
What’s this to do with?
As reported in the Peterborough Telegraph recently, Tories at the Town Hall, have decided to pay education specialists £150,000 “..to help improve primary school results.”
These “experts” are from an organisation called Success for All, which is based in Cathedral Square, and apparently they’ll be helping the five most under performing schools in the city.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Peterborough came second last in the recent SATS results.
My thoughts are ……
Do we not already have hundreds of educational experts in the city?
I mean, teachers, ex-teachers, educational officers at the Town Hall and ……. not forgetting Tory boy, Cllr John Holdich, who’s job title is Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Skills, and University, and Communications – a role that entitles him to collect an additional allowance (on top of his basic salary) of £20,761.04 a year!
Also, why do we not have a FREE, easy to use central communications portal for local teachers, governors, councillors, council officers etc to be part of?
Why not simply create a secure Facebook group?
As always I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, so please do feel free to post a comment below!