We’re all paying more – but for what?

Speaker's Corner columnists -  Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/opinion, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/opinion, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
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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 government 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, they have a Conservative controlled City Council, a Conservative MP, a Conservative Police 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 Conservatives in the Town Hall are capable of selling the silverware, but incapable of dealing with the big issues that matter most to 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?