Things I would like to see this year

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Westminsterlife -

At the start of 2013, many peo­ple will turn their minds to New Year’s res­o­lu­tions and make them­selves prom­ises that in re­al­ity they’re un­likely to keep, whether it’s a fit­ness regime or learn­ing a for­eign lan­guage or other such as­pi­ra­tions.

As I ’m ap­proach­ing my ninth year as the city’s Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and again seek­ing my party’s nom­i­na­tion for the 2015 Gen­eral Elec­tion later this year, I would like to of­fer my own hopes and am­bi­tions for Peter­bor­ough in the coming year.

1. More jobs and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple. We need to get peo­ple off wel­fare into mean­ing­ful, sus­tain­able and long term work – and that means boost­ing ap­pren­tice­ships, a new Univer­sity Train­ing Col­lege based at the Re­gional Col­lege and­more­new em­ploy­ers tak­ing ad­van­tage of Peter­bor­ough’s keystrate­gic lo­ca­tion to bring high skilled and high paid jobs to our area.

2. We need to i gnore mu­nic­i­pal van­ity projects like the risky and spec­u­la­tive en­ergy park which threat­ens to blight the lives and en­vi­ron­ment of my con­stituents in New­bor­ough and fo­cus on the ba­sics – build­ing more qual­ity homes for work­ing peo­ple on mod­est in­comes and en­trepreneur­sand­drivin­gup­stan­dards in ourschools. Nothin­gelsewill drive tal­ented and am­bi­tious folk to the city. The open­ing of the new City of Peter­bor­ough Academy in East­field will be an im­por­tant mile­stone in that en­deav­our in Septem­ber this year.

3. The re­nais­sance of the city cen­tre which be­gan un­der Cllr John Peach with the de­mo­li­tion of the Corn Ex­change and con­tin­ued by Cllr Cer­este must con­tinue, with the Cow­gate­andBridgeStree­tre­gen­er­a­tion and this will be ev­i­denced by the open­ing of the new Car­luc­cio’s restau­rant this month.

4. A po­lit­i­cal will to tackle prob­lem drink­ing and greedy slum­land­lordsin­pock­et­softhe city. Although the city coun­cil have been woe­fully slow, a new se­lec­tive l icens­ing scheme and cu­mu­la­tive im­pact pol­icy put into prac­tice in Mill­field and New Eng­land, may very well bear fruit over the next 12 months.

5. A real­is­tic level of coun­cil tax and pro­tec­tion of key ser­vices. Whilst the city coun­cil spends al­most £ 60,000 on non- statu­tory full time trades union of­fi­cials and thou­sands more on non- statu­tory trans­la­tion and in­ter­preters, they surely still have suf­fi­cient slack to­cut, in­order­to­keepthe­coun- cil tax low?

6. Let’s carry on the fight again­stcrime, led­bythecity’s first rate po­lice com­man­der, Supt Dan Va­j­zovic – we’re mak­ing great progress driv­ing down crime and driv­ing out crim­i­nals.

7. A long term fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able so­lu­tion ( via the Trea­sury) to the bud­get­prob­lem­satPeter­bor­ough City Hospi­tal – mostly caused by the dis­as­trous PFI scheme be­queathed by the last Labour Government.

8. It was forty years on Tues­day since we joined the Euro­pean Union ( then the Com­mon Mar­ket). It’s time we had a ref­er­en­dum on our con­tin­ued mem­ber­ship and let thep­eo­ple’svoice­be­heard loud and clear.

In the mean­time, do have ahappy, healthyand­pros­per­ous 2013.

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