Rents in Cambridge & Peterborough are 3rd highest …..

Median monthly private rents
Median monthly private rents, October 2015 to September 2016

A recent article in the Guardian Newspaper, has placed Cambridge & Peterborough in 3rd place, behind London and the West of England, for having the highest median monthly private rents!

This news has come as no surprise to me!

I was literally speaking with a local resident of Gunthorpe the other day, who was complaining how his rent, for a single bedroom property had risen from £450 to £495 a month, in recent months.

I know that in the same area, about 4 years ago, similar properties were being rented for around £350 a month!

In my opinion, we need a City Council and Government committed to ending the insecurity for private renters by introducing controls on rent rises, more secure tenancies, landlord licensing and new consumer rights for renters.

We also need to empower tenants to call time on bad landlords by giving renters new consumer rights.

Renters are spending £9.6 billion a year on homes that the government classes as ‘non-decent’.

Around a quarter of this is paid by housing benefit.

A Labour government would introduce new legal minimum standards to ensure properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ and empower tenants to take action if their rented homes are sub-standard.

As always please let e know YOUR thoughts and opinions below!

Council’s “Agile working” concept hasn’t worked!

Cllr John Holdich

A couple of years ago, the Tory controlled City Council here in Peterborough announced “Agile working” throughout their offices, claiming it would save the local authority £500,000 a year!

In fact, as recently as August this year, Gillian Beasley, CEO of Peterborough City Council was singing the praises of Agile Working via the local authority’s Insite website, claiming “I’ve personally committed to working in an agile manner along with every member of the Corporate Management Team.” – Maybe though she was simply referring to her working part time, between Peterborough and Cambridge? 🙂

Well guess what? They’ve decided to pull the scheme, essentially they are blaming growing workloads and demands on services increasing.

“The council is now proposing to remove this saving which creates an ongoing pressure of £0.5million.” – PCC Budget 2018-2019 Phase 1 Proposals

Have you got faith in a Tory administration that can make half million pound ill thought plans? Let me know what your thoughts are below!

I’ve been appointed to a new Scrutiny Committee!

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Just thought you might like to know that I have now been appointed as a rep on the City Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee!

It’s a committee that I served on for several years previously, alongside the likes of Cllr Keith Sharp, leading on issues like teenage pregnancy, sharp needle bins etc and so I am very much looking forward to being back involved.

The topic of health is certainly a concern in Peterborough, especially given the fact that life expectancy for people in our city city is several years less than other areas of Cambridgeshire!

Worth noting

  • Overview and Scrutiny was introduced under the Local Government Act 2000 and its purpose is to hold the cabinet and cabinet members to account by acting independently as a critical friend through constructive challenge.
  • Overview and Scrutiny is part of our decision making structure and it reports to full council.
  • Members of the public, service users and partners are encouraged to become involved in Overview and Scrutiny by highlighting areas of concern with our service delivery.

New Schools located at Manor Drive, Gunthorpe, will open ……

 

Manor Drive

During our door knocking exercises this year, one of the big questions from residents living along or just off Manor Drive relates to what is happening with the plan to build schools at the location.

So at a previous Full Council meeting I stood up and asked the Leader of the City Council what they had planned.

He told me that the Paston Primary, which includes 1 Form of Entry (i.e. 210 pupils) has an estimated opening date of September 2018, while the Paston Secondary School, which will have a maximum of 8 Forms of Entry (1200 pupils + a 6th form) is targeted to open September 2019.

You might also remember reading about how the Council went back on their original agreement to provide a certain percentage of affordable housing in the Manor Drive area?

The reason they did this is because they were desperate for a new secondary school and therefore wavered the affordable housing provision in lieu of the provision of land for a new secondary school.

Don’t forget that the same Tories who closed down HoneyHill, Bretton Woods etc are the ones now desperate for school places!

Then of course …………. there’s the question of how will the City Council ensure that the area isn’t invaded by parking parents at certain times of the week?

Wasdale Gardens

I’ve recently become a Governor at Gunthorpe Primary School!

Gunthorpe Primary School

I’ve recently had the pleasure of becoming a School Governor at Gunthorpe Primary School, and following my first meeting, I have to say I am encouraged by the commitment and ideas shown by other members of the board.

I’ve been a governor before at Ken Stimpson, and earlier in the year, at a committee meeting, Council Officers were highlighting the need for more people to become governors.

So I put my name down.

Now I can assure you that I am not short of things to do, but playing a positive role in the education of local young people and helping promote the good work done by the local school, was far too much of an attraction to not take up the challenge.

Gunthorpe Primary School2

Teacher training opportunities available in Peterborough

​​Schools across Peterb​orough are working together to provide training opportunities. If you are a graduate and want to complete your training in a school environment apply to Teach East.
​​Schools across Peterb​orough are working together to provide training opportunities. If you are a graduate and want to complete your training in a school environment apply to Teach East.

Teaching opportunities are available in Peterborough to graduates who train under a scheme run by Peterborough City Council.

The Peterborough Teacher Training Partnership, in partnership with the University of London, is looking for graduates to train to become a teacher in schools in Peterborough.

The Teach East scheme has been training teachers for over a year and many people have completed the course and are now teaching in schools across the city. As new schools are built and existing schools continue to expand the council needs more teachers to keep up with increasing demand.

The council has successfully recruited many trainee teachers for the next intake, starting in September, but there is a particular shortage of those wanting to teach key secondary subjects in local schools. The council needs graduates from chemistry, design technology, languages, maths and physics to train to teach children aged 15 to 16 years old.

Chris Clayton, principal lead at Teach East, said:

“Our Teach East project is a fantastic opportunity for graduates to re-train and start an exciting career in teaching. We offer great support, training and development options and the long-term career prospects for teachers in Peterborough are clearly very promising.

“If you are a graduate, are looking to perhaps change careers and are interested in a career in teaching please get in touch as we would love to hear from you. Not only could you get a new job, with great prospects, but you’ll be helping local children make the most of their potential too.”

For more information visit: www.teacheast.co.uk

More funding for local schools @WPS_school

Outside Werrington Primary School
Werrington Primary School is one of the leading schools in Peterborough!

When the Lib Dems were elected to government in 2010, one of their highest priorities was to tackle the school funding problem here in Cambridgeshire.

It is simply unforgivable that local schools were receiving £600 per pupil per year less than the national average – the least of anywhere in the Country.

It is a great shame that Labour chose to ignore this underfunding during their 13 years in government.

That is why I’m extremely proud that, from April, local schools will receive an extra £23.2m each year in funding – money that will significantly improve the quality of education for local children.

This would not have happened if local people had not supported the Liberal Democrats!

I along with my Lib Dem colleagues, will continue to campaign for a long-term fairer funding formula for schools, fighting for an immediate increase in schools capital funding for us so that our school buildings can keep pace with increasing demand; be it building extra classrooms or modernising existing facilities.

Providing our schools with more funding for resources through a fairer funding formula, the Pupil Premium, and better classrooms will mean pupils, especially those from poorer backgrounds, get the support they deserve.

Remember to let me know your thoughts below!