Guess how much the new Schools at the Paston Reserve are going to cost?

Paston Reserve

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!

Related articles:

 

Working Group to look at #RhubarbBridge – LATEST

Rhubarb Bridge

A meeting of the City Council’s Cabinet, has agreed to create a Working Group, to look at:

“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.
Glinton Bridge
One of TWO bridges that enable school children, pedestrians and cyclists a safe passage A15, and to rise above the air pollution!

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!

#StandUpForPeterborough = What a load of tosh!

#StandUpForPeterborough
The majority of City Councillors did not attend the launch……..

You may have read on the Peterborough Telegraph website about the launch of a campaign by the Tory controlled City Council to “lobby the Government for more money to protect services” in our city?

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

#StandUpForPeterborough
Some say that since, Finance Director John Harrison left the local authority, the Tories at the Town Hall are simply bereft of ideas!

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!!”

#StandUpForPeterborough
CEO of the Council, Gillian Beasley, who’s salary is reported to be around £180,000 a year, has talked about the need to protect peoples jobs!

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?”

#StandUpForPeterborough
Senior Council Officer talks outside St Peter’s Arcade, where last year the Tory controlled Council spent £8,024 on 2 security guards to work for 19 days over Xmas – Some say to put off homeless people from taking shelter there?

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!

#StandUpForPeterborough
Ironically, the Council used footage of the “rusty” barrier in one of their videos, the one they spent £600,000 on!

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!

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!

#ToriesAtTheTownHall backtrack on Peterborough Lottery plans!

Mayor of Peterborough

As reported by the Peterborough Telegraph, Tory controlled Peterborough City Council has said it is “to pause the project“, claiming they need focus instead on social care provision and homelessness?

Tory Lottery Timeline:

JAN 2017Tories 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 2017Peterborough 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!

Homlessness
Council claims they’ve seen a 200% rise in the number of homeless families requiring temporary accommodation between 20015-2017.

 

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!

 

 

Tories will make budget decision B4 consultation ends?

CouncilMoney

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?

Have your say

Let me know below if you have any suggestions on what the City Council could do?

GP Training in suicide prevention

Elderly Lady

As a rep on the Council Health Scrutiny Committee, we’ve now been informed that funding has been secured through the Sustainable Transformation Partnerships with some support from Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council for training of GPs across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in suicide prevention.

The reason? Well GPs are most likely to have contact with people at risk of suicide in many of the ‘high risk’ categories.

The 2015 audit of suicides and deaths for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough found that two thirds of people had been in touch with primary care in 2015 or within a maximum of 6 months prior to death.

The 2015 audit results for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough also showed:

  • In males the highest number of deaths was in under 25 year olds and 50-59 year olds.
  • In females the age pattern was more mixed, with highest numbers in 30-39 year olds and 70- 74 year olds.

It’s hoped that suicide prevention training for GPs can potentially enable greater identification of those at risk, and earlier referral to evidence based treatment services.

Training will focus on the patient/GP interaction, risk identification, compassion and empathy as well as safety plans and follow-through care.

The Tories have consistently failed local young people on issues of suicide and self-harm by overseeing cuts to vital mental health services.

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

Need to talk?

Contact the Samaritans now on 116 123.

Samaritans
Going through a difficult time? #WeListen

GP’s in Peterborough are “Under Pressure”

0415 (100)

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.

Whilst their is no magic pill, I do believe that Peterborough City Council must start making clear efforts to:

  • Focus resources on services to provide care closer to home and deliver a truly 21st-century health system.
  • Work towards a new model of community care that takes into account not only primary care but also social care and mental health.
  • Increase funding to GP services to ensure patients can access the care they need.
  • Halt pharmacy cuts and review provision to ensure all patients have access to pharmacy services, particularly in deprived or remote communities in our city.

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

Jeremy Hunt
Tory Jeremy Hunt, gets paid an additional £134,565 a year (on top of his MP salary) for being Secretary of State for Health!

 

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!