Whilst reading through the latest budget proposals from the the City Council, I noticed that money had been allocated for the primary and secondary schools, planned to be built in the area, commonly known, as Manor Drive.
For the Primary School, the Council has allocated just under £7,000,000 between now and 2021, and for the Secondary School, they’ve allocated over £25,000,000.
You might remember that originally, the plan was for just one school on the site, but once the secondary school places shortage kicked in, the Tories at the Town Hall decided to include a secondary school at the location, which also mean nearly 280 affordable homes would no longer be built.
It also meant that the planned opening of the Primary School was delayed by a year.
I’ve now sent of a request for more information on this planned development, relating to aspects like who will be constructing the schools, designing them, naming them and of course pushing for road safety assurances.
As ever, I’d love to read your thoughts and comments on this matter, so please do post below!
“Whether it is technically and financially feasible to reassign the proportion of the overall budget allocated to demolish the footbridges to instead make significant repairs to the bridge at Junction 18 (Rhubarb Bridge)”
You may remember, the Tories at the Town Hall received something of a backlash, after they announced plans to spend up to £30,000,000 on removing the bridge, and even signed an agreement with Skanska, before seeing what local residents thought?
Some interesting points from the latest report (page 377) include:
Approximately 60,000 vehicles use the junction daily, 1,260 pedestrians and 540 cyclists.
The Council still claim that not “carrying out an improvement scheme would lead to a significant increase in congestion at this junction associated with the growth of the city and increasing revenue repair costs for the existing network of bridges given their physical condition.”
Membership of the group will consist of one elected Member from each of the political groups to ensure cross party representation.
It’s expected the group will hold around three meetings. With the first one to be held before the end of the year.
My big worry, is that given the huge amount of money involved, there’ll certainly be one or two peeps who want to get their hands on it! And will be devilishly determined to go ahead with the original concept.
Therefore, I personally do hope is that this working group also includes one or two local residents, like those who led on the petition, a rep form the local cycling forum and Sustrans the cycling charity. This has yet to be confirmed.
What do YOU think the Council should do? Please let me know below!
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!
JAN 2017 – Tories announce Peterborough local lottery, boasting it’ll see local good causes win £23,000 in 2017/18 and then £62,000 in the following years.
JULY 2017 – Scheme given “green light” by Tory Cabinet, Cllr Holdich claimed it would mean they could spend more £’s on on “the services that we have a duty to provide for our residents, in particular protecting and caring for the elderly, young and vulnerable.”
NOV 2017 – Peterborough lottery is essentially cancelled! With the Council claiming it had decided to pause the project because “the council needs to focus its effort on strategic items“.
I wonder how much money and officer time has been spent so far “looking into this” idea?
Reminds me of when the Tories spent £70k looking into the unpopular idea of a casino for our city!
Please let me know YOUR thoughts and opinions below!
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!
The Tories at the Town Hall have just launched the first phase of their budget plan, interestingly the consultation ends on 30th November, yet at “a Cabinet meeting on Monday 20 November 2017, members will be asked to approve the first set of proposals for consultation….” – So the Tories will be taking a decision before local people have had their final say?
“…we are no longer sufficiently funded by government to provide the services we want to deliver for residents and the 2018/19 budget will be the most challenging yet.” – Councillor John Holdich
Other interesting points this year are:
When the austerity programme was first launched, local Tories described the cuts as with words like “efficiency“, now even the leader of the Tories is admitting the actions are “cuts!”
This will be the first time the Tories at the Town Hall have had to put a budget together without their financial guru John Harrison for over a decade! (We’re STILL not sure why he left the authority the other month?)
“..the same time the council has seen unprecedented increases in demand for services, in particular those in housing need and adults and the elderly needing care and support.” – Peterborough City Council
Other bits to bear in mind:
Thanks to the Tory Government’s austerity programme, in 2013/14 the city council received £55 million in Revenue Support Grant and this will have reduced to just £15 million in 2018/19 and then £10 million in 2019/20.
In terms of homelessness, the council has seen a 200% rise in the number of homeless families requiring temporary accommodation in just the past two years.
Senior Tory Councillors say they are lobbying government for extra funding and already have meetings set up with our MPs and have been in discussion with the Local Government Association, but I do wonder what there’ll be doing different this time and why they’ve not done it to date?
At the latest meeting of the Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, on which I sit, councillors were informed that a number of general practices in Peterborough, were facing a range of issues, and were basically under pressure!
We were told that:
A number of practices were “identified as requiring support to become more resilient.”
10 local practices had recently received resilience support for 2016/17, to the tune of £145,381.
There were worries about buildings and whether they could cope with the organisational changes that have occurred in recent years.
With councillors being told that there “is a perception that the current estate is not flexible enough to cope with either the new growth anticipated and/or new models of care, which will see increased provision of care in the community…“
Personally, I’ve lost count of the number of changes, organisational restructures, renames etc over the last decade within the local NHS.
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?
ToryCouncillor 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!