An “increase in self-harming in young people” in Peterborough

Self Harm

At a meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee, councillors were told:

“It was noted that there had been an increase in self-harming in young people but there had been no hard evidence to understand why the increase had happened.

“National research was being conducted and locally all aspects of emotional health and well-being was being looked at.”

Across England, only 8% of mental health funding goes to services for children and young people.

In recent years, referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services have increased by two-thirds, and the number of young people presenting to A&E units with psychiatric conditions has doubled.

I believe we need to see real investment in early intervention by increasing the proportion of mental health budgets spent on support for children and young people.

Young people in Peterborough MUST have access to a counselling service and messages/information must be made available in places young people operate ….. Rather than simply printing thousands of leaflets!

Plan of action for Norwood Lane? #Hopefully

Norwood Lane

Over the recent months, myself and my ward colleague Cllr Julia Davidson, have been working to highlight the issues faced by local residents living along the Norwood Lane, in Gunthorpe.

Issues like fly-tipping have blighted this community for over thirty years, while drainage and a lack of street lightening have only been around for nearly ten years!

Over the last 9 months we’ve paid site visits, spoken with local residents and at the October meeting of Full Council, I stood up and submitted a formal question to the Tory Cabinet Member for Communities.

As a result I discovered that since 1st January 2016 to-date, the Council has been forced to clear the Lane on 10 occasions, spending just under £50,000 to remove waste and £96,000 to dispose of it. Put simply, this level of spend cannot simply continue.

Pete Jones
At the meeting, I also met Pete Jones from Cambs Fire Service, who raised several points of concern regarding fire safety.

More recently, myself and Cllr Davidson attended a special meeting that included Council Officers, who have assured us that:

  • They have submitted a funding application to be used to implement a redesign and resurface of the lane itself.
  • Enforcement Officers will look to attend the site on a more regular basis.

At the meeting I also put forward the point that a) we need signs clearly stating the fly-tipping is prohibited, b) new signs need to introduced declaring the lanes name, c) any work on the road must include crossing points and d) relevant road markings are introduced.

Both myself and Cllr Davidson are keen to see action occur sooner rather than later, as there are several residents who suffer will ill health, and recently an Ambulance took nearly an hour to get down the lane!

Just 6% of Peterborough GPs under the age of 35

I love the NHS

At the latest meeting of the Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, on which I sit,  we were told:

  • Across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough the age profile for GPs under the age of 35 years (13%) is well below the national average (18%), with the lowest in the county being in Peterborough at just 6%.
  • Whilst 20% of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group‘s (CCG) General Practitioners (GPs) are over the age of 54 years, Cambridgeshire has a relatively younger GP profile with only 18% of GPs over the age of 54 years; however, in Peterborough this rises to 25%, higher than the national England average (21%).

In my opinion …..

We need to see some real action to address this problem on the horizon ASAP and we need the City Council to start planning, rather than dragging their feet.

Most people in Peterborough, no matter their efforts at school, never even have the chance to enter into the world of General Practice!

Sadly, the Conservative controlled Peterborough City Council have done little or nothing to address this issue over the last 17 years!

So what to do?

Well, firstly, I’d like to see more local people offered the chance to become GPs, I for one cannot ever remember it being a suggestion from our careers adviser when I was at school?

The Council and various NHS bodies, should be finding ways to encourage young people in our city, to sign up to a pathway to becoming a GP.

At present for me, it remains the recourse for children of the petite bourgeoisie?

Nationally, we need to see the NHS pay cap scrapped, re-introduce bursaries and funding for health-related degrees and immediately guarantee the rights of EU staff working in our health and care services.

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts or opinions below!

 

 

Cut speed, save lives in Gunthorpe ……..!

20s Plenty
Even a 1mph reduction in average speeds cuts crashes by 6%.

I want 20 mile per hour speed limits not just in the residential areas of the Gunthorpe ward, but throughout the city!

  • Tests show that 20 mph limits reduce the most toxic diesel fumes.
  • They could help to reduce the 30,000 annual UK deaths from air pollution.

Sadly, all our Tory-controlled city council has promised is to review, evaluate and share their feedback – but to date, I’ve seen nowt from them?

What do you think? Would you like to see 20 mph limits?

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts or opinions below!

  • Check out the facts, research and details from the 20’s Plenty website, byvisiting here!

 

Tories in turmoil at the Town Hall……

Cllr David Sanders
Senior Tory councillors joked about Cllr David Sanders’, just before he announced his departure from politics…. they soon stopped laughing!

The Conservatives have been “running” the City Council since the year 2000, and as someone who has been a councillor since 2004, I can assure you I’ve never seen them in such a mess!

It seems quite clear to me, given that there is no more silverware in the cupboard for them to sell, that they’ve agreed annual rises in Council Tax over the next 5 years, the back tracking on bulky waste collections, senior officers moving to jobs outside the authority etc!

And let’s not forget the recent events, like:

  1. Tory Mayor drops resignation bombshell – After a year in the role as mayor, Tory councillor, David Sanders, announced at a meeting of Full Council (without informing his leader or other senior Tory councillors) that he’d be resigning his position as a elected member after 20 years in the role. Some suggest this was solely down to his view of how things are being run by his party colleagues at the Town Hall?
  2. Chief Finance Officer jumps shipJohn Harrison, who received £184,572 last year including pension contributions, suddenly left the authority, without even a good-bye email? I myself was very surprised, as I thought he was pretty much entrenched at the Council and especially after I was told at a meeting (which he also attended) that he’d be the one leading the renegotiation of the Council’s contract with Amey?
  3. Nearly half a billion in debt – This year I discovered from holding the Tories at the Town Hall to account during a formal meeting, that they are presently in debt to the tune of £395,400,000 and repayment of individual loans ranges from 2 months to 49 years. The total interest payment over the life of the outstanding debt is presently £405,000,000……. nearly half a billion! To put it into perspective, if you get paid £16,000 a year, then its like you owing £38,400 …… on top of YOUR mortgage or rent etc Not very fiscally sound, eh?
  4. Rhubarb Bridge fiasco – Hundreds of local residents were left dismayed after the Tories launched a “consultation” exercise regarding the future of the Rhubarb Bridge, however, on attending they discovered that there was only one option on the table, and that a multi million pound deal had already been signed!

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts or opinions below!

56% of reported fly tipping cases NOT investigated!

Fly-tipping

According to reports, Fly-tipping costs Peterborough City Council more than £200,000 a year to clean up!

With that in mind, I raised my concerns at a Town Hall meeting, and questioned why 56% of reported fly-tipping cases were not investigated in our city?

Tory Councillor Gavin Elsey (who received £14,330 on top of his basic pay last year) responded stating that “…cases where there was not any significant evidence that would allow the perpetrators to be identified would not be investigated, as there was virtually no possibility of success.”

In my opinion, I think we need to see fines tripled and more dedicated enforcement teams introduced, that actually operate throughout the city and investigate more incidents!

The Conservatives at the Town Hall have had 17 years to address this!

Instead, they’ve failed, with unpopular schemes, costly exercises and the removal of community skips!

As always, if you have a suggestion or view please post a comment below!

nipfqw
It’s a shame some people don’t care about discarding rubbish irresponsibly!

UKIP in Peterborough on a downward spiral ……

Paul Nuttall
Nuttall lasted just 8 months as leader of the party!

At the last General Election, UKIP decided not to put up a candidate in Peterborough …. in order to, according to them, assist the Tory candidate in being re-elected.

It didn’t work!

giphy
Some UKIP members haven’t helped the image of the party!

On Peterborough City Council, they are now down to just 2 councillors, having lost 60% of their seats in the last couple of years.

At the recent Park Ward local election, the UKIP candidate got 176 votes, DOWN nearly 50% on the previous year!

giphy1
Farage sneaking out of building ….. dressed as a builder!

UKIP’s decision to stand aside for the Conservatives in Peterborough, earlier this year, shows they are a spent force!

As Nigel Farage has said, Theresa May is now using the exact words and phrases he has been using for the last 20 years.

Locally, there have been strong suggestions that at least one of the existing UKIP councillors will be joining the Conservative party, in order to get re-elected.

giphy3
People are letting UKIP know what they think of them at the ballot boxes!

Also, to give you an idea of the mess UKIP have been in locally, you might like to read some of the text from the ‘tell-tale’ book on UKIP in the city, which claims to reveal damning information about the party, by the former deputy chairman of UKIP Peterborough, by VISITING HERE and choosing the “Look Inside” option!

Just 23% of local schools have a 20 mph speed restriction zone!

IMG_8016-1024x679

Road Safety outside schools is an ever increasing concern for local residents, officers at the Town Hall and of course us councillors!

Over the years, I’ve personally campaigned for additional road markings, crossings, signage and of course for the introduction of 20 mph zones outside of local schools.

So earlier this year, I thought I would ask the Tories at the Town Hall, how many of our local schools actually had such speed zones outside them?

At the meeting, I discovered there are presently 85 schools in Peterborough – 60 Primary, 13 Secondary, 9 Special, 3 Further Education Centres and that 20 mph limits are in place outside JUST 20 schools.

That means 76% do not have them!

I for one will certainly be calling for such a scheme outside the schools that are planned to be built at the Manor Drive area.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, so please do post some 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?

Amey staff have to wait another 6-7 months for news …..

Amey

At the start of this year, the City Council announced they were set to terminate their waste contract with Amey in a bid to save £100,000 every year.

At a subsequent meeting, when I raised the issue, we were told that, essentially we need not worry as the council’s Corporate Director for resources, John Harrison, would be heading up the negotiations.

A few weeks later, Mr Harrison had resigned from his position at the Town Hall, in what “some” suggest are mysterious circumstances?

So why are they in limbo?

Well over the last few weeks, I’ve been speaking privately with Amey staff, who have told me that they were assured that their employment transfer would occur at the end of July 2017, I was then told by an officer at the Town Hall that it would be more likely be the end of this year.

But, at a meeting at the Town Hall, I was told by Simon Machen, that an announcement would be made by the City Council on this matter, in the New Year.

So basically, Amey staff could end up waiting over 6 months, before their employment is transferred back to the City Council, into what I expect to be a joint venture partnership with a private organisation?

Either way it’s not cool…..! Let me know your thoughts below please?