We’re all paying more – but for what?

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Speaker’s Corner -

Did you know that in Peter­bor­ough, peo­ple now pay more coun­cil tax than ever be­fore, se­nior of­fi­cers at the Town Hall get paid more money than ever be­fore and the Con­ser­va­tive cab­i­net mem­bers……. (guess what?) re­ceive more Spe­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity Al­lowances (SRAs) on top of the ba­sic salaries than ever be­fore!

Not for­get­ting that the coun­cil also col­lects more coun­cil tax than ever be­fore!

It does make me won­der, why pen­sion­ers are hav­ing their ser­vices taken away, peo­ple on low bud­gets are ex­pected to pay a fur­ther charge for their brown bins to be col­lected and why re­cently the Tories at the Town Hall, de­cided to ex­tend their debt re­pay­ments to 42 years in­stead of 25 i.e. let­ting your chil­dren’s chil­dren pay for their pet projects or so­lu­tions to prob­lems that they cre­ated?

Over the com­ing weeks, I’ll be keep­ing an eye out for the re­port on the re­sponses to the con­sul­ta­tion re­gard­ing the pro­posed devo­lu­tion deal for Cam­bridgeshire and Peter­bor­ough, that has now ended.

For the record, the Lib­eral Demo­crat group op­posed the idea when it was dis­cussed at a meet­ing of Full Coun­cil.

We did so for sev­eral rea­sons, mainly though be­cause we do not want to see the sovereignty of our city sold off, like so many other things have been. We also do not want to see an­other ex­pen­sive layer of lo­cal gov- ern­ment of bu­reau­cracy in­tro­duced!

Talk­ing of bu­reau­cracy I see the on­go­ing, al­most pe­cu­liar, pol­icy of the Tories at the Town Hall, to de­monise cy­clists (also known as lo­cal tax­pay­ers) who have the au­dac­ity to use Bridge Street when trav­el­ling to and fro con­tin­ues?

It’s sev­eral years since I for­mally sub­mit­ted the idea of the a ded­i­cated cy­cle lane along Bridge Street and since hun­dreds of lo­cal peo­ple added their sup­port to my on-line cam­paign. Sadly, a hand­ful of Tory coun­cil­lors who do not cy­cle seem de­ter­mined to fine peo­ple, rather than sup­port and re­ward peo­ple who are do­ing a good thing.

Luck­ily, there are still lots of peo­ple in Peter­bor­ough with com­mon sense, who have sev­eral plans to show their op­po­si­tion to this ex­er­cise.

Lo­cally, my col­leagues, Cllr An­drew Bond, Cllr Ju­lia David­son and my­self have been busy, and with the help of our awe­some lo­cal vol­un­teers, de­liv­ered our 105 edi­tion of the FO­CUS News­let­ter for the lo­cal Gun­thorpe and Wer­ring­ton area. We’ve also been deal­ing with is­sues like fly tip­ping es­pe­cially along Nor­wood Lane con­tin­u­ing to be an is­sue, while lo­cal pen­sion­ers have also been let down re­gard­ing trans­port pro­vi­sion to the re­gional swim­ming pool, then of course there’s the ever in­creas­ing case­work pile re­lat­ing to dog and gen­eral waste bins, bol­lards that do not serve their pur­pose, park­ing con­cerns and hous­ing re­lated mat­ters.

Fi­nally, did you know that, , right now, most peo­ple in this city have a Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor for their area, theyy have a Con­ser­va­tive con­trolled City Coun­cil, a Con­ser­va­tive MP, a Con­ser­va­tive Po­licee and Crime Com­mis­sioner and a Con­ser­va­tive Gov­ern­ment……. Put it an­other way, I think it’s time to start re­mem­ber­ing who’s presently get­ting paid to do the job!

Af­ter 14 years as a city coun­cil­lor, I re­main con­vinced that the Con­ser­va­tivess in the Town Hall are ca­pa­ble of sell­ing the sil­ver­ware, but in­ca­pable of deal­ing with the big is­sues that mat­ter most too the reg­u­lar peo­ple of Peter­bor­ough!

PS - Is it to early to be ask­ing whether or not we can ex­pect to see £40,000 plas­tic Christ­mas Tree again this year?

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