Cllr Darren Fower: I fear fairness is fading from finances

Darren Fower ENGEMN00120110617115110
Darren Fower ENGEMN00120110617115110
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Another week, another Speaker’s Corner, and another week of cuts announced by the city council!

The top Tories at the Town Hall have now identified £12,000,000 worth of further cuts, but are still short of their target by some £7,500,000.

They’ve also indicated that introducing the Living Wage will be a financial burden for them. but wait, how come they didn’t moan last year when already highly paid council officers, were awarded significant pay rises, including one who got “back dated” pay to the tune of £30,000?

Not forgetting, earlier this month, when we discovered that Peterborough City Council paid four of its top employees a total of £816.698 in the year 2013-14, which is double the amount of introducing the Living Wage? I fear fairness maybe fading from the financial forum?

Oh! And it turns out I’ll probably be dead before the council finally pays off the money it’s been borrowing in recent years, after it decided to extend its repayment period from 25 to 42 years!

Recently, I myself asked local people for ideas on how the council could save or make some money, and thought you might like to read a couple of them.

Introduce street lights that have small solar panels and a small wind turbine on the pole. The net effect? Zero power consumption. Paid for by advertising on the posts themselves.

Encourage more use of reusable nappies, given that the council spends on average £200,000 a year just on nappy landfill.

Stop spending money on elaborate, “beautiful” flower baskets. Maybe get a contra deal with one of the several garden centres in the city?

Employ more parking attendants to enforce parking regulations across the city.

Get rid of all city councillors and money used for them given to parish councils (I think this one came from a parish councillor!).

As they charge an admin fee for blue badges and not for school bus passes, there should be a £10 per term admin fee.

If you’ve got an idea for the council tosave a few £s then please feel free to pop it through to me via www.bit.ly/BudgetIdeas2015

In other news, there’s been concerns regarding policing in Peterborough, after suggestions arose that the present Superintendent intends to make some rather stringent cut backs throughout the city?

It’s feared cuts could include no more more bobbies on the beat, no more local police stations and no more visits to people’s homes to discuss issues other than in certain prescribed circumstances?

One piece of good news though, is that the police have finally (and rightly) become frustrated by the silly cycle ban in Bridge Street, to the extent that the city council will now be responsible for enforcing it. What a waste of time and money by certain city councillors!

So given all these financial constraints, you can imagine my thoughts when I saw, then discovered the cost of our city’s Christmas tree in Cathedral Square!

Especially, when I read the Tory leader at the council was quoted as saying that “...the financial challenge for the council remains constant.” So, why would you spend £40,000 on a tree? Perhaps I’m being too harsh?

As for the Peterborough Liberal Democrats, we recently had our AGM and membership continues to grow, with new faces getting involved and bringing their various skills to the table.

We’re also working hard in the wards we represent, undertaking surveys, hand delivering newsletters and raising issues and concerns from residents with the city council.

I’m also keen to hear from people at the moment about the idea of promoting tree planting to combat verge parking, so if you have a view on this or anything else please drop me a comment via www.facebook.com/CllrDarrenFower or send me a text on 07572463904.

PS - Can I suggest making sure you buy the young ‘uns something nice this year, just as a bit of a forward thank you to them for paying off our city council’s debts during their upcoming working lives?