Councillor Darren Fower: Political temperature is hotting up

Outside the Council chamber at Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street. Photo: Paul Franks/Peterborough Telegraph
Outside the Council chamber at Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street. Photo: Paul Franks/Peterborough Telegraph
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It’s been hot recently, not just weather wise, but also in the local political scene. We’ve seen the local Labour Party turning on itself, expelling one of their sitting city councillors, who previously stood to become MP for the city and to be the Police Crime Commissioner and they also got caught out 
telling fibs about their 
reasons behind their failure to put forward a candidate for the leadership role 
on Peterborough City Council.

There’s also been talk about an anaerobic digester, the annual natter relating to travellers and the seeming desire for Peterborough City Council to be part of some supa council set up, of shared services?

In respect of the local Labour Party, well, the Lib Dems knew there’d be trouble, ahead of the Annual Council meeting, if only because we could hear the shouting through the wall, from the Labour Group, as our room is right next door 
to theirs at the Town Hall.

I would add that despite the Labour Group leader claiming to have spoken to opposition councillors, and then finding out that they had no support, I can assure you that no-one spoke to me or my colleagues.

The issue of travellers, still causes me frustration, 
as the council, under the control of the Tories has 
consistently failed to fulfil their legal obligations to 
provide sufficient services for this community, and despite finally getting around to providing a temporary stop location, we now find out that the amount of spaces provided is insufficient.

A piece of classic council activity. Ten years late, and still no good!

As for the planned anaerobic digester, put simply, it’s a piece of technology that the Lib Dems have long been calling for, but it seems, a bit like the solar panels, the location is a controversial issue. There are also lots of murmurings relating to the ownership of the land and suggestions that it is more about a money making exercise for one or two people, rather than a solution to the every increasing problem of dealing with our levels of waste locally.

As for the talk of amalgamating our City Council with some neighbouring ones, I really am not sure about this? I mean, I realise that under the Tory stewardship, the local authority in 
Peterborough has all but sold off all the silverware, but, whenever I pop into the Town Hall, officers are not sitting back, as if they are lacking things to do, they are in fact overworked and under paid, so the idea that they could then do extra work seems about as sensible as funding an expensive gas guzzling mayor’s car!

There is of course some good news!

The plans for a cinema-led revamp of Queensgate shopping centre have now been submitted, and from what I have seen the plans do take into account the bus service provision which is key, and of course means that people will not have to make their way out of the city in order to do things etc.

Finally, the news has not been all bad!

Locally we have now 
sped past the 100 membership mark (www.libdems.org.uk/join) for the Peterborough Liberal Democrats with the hashtag #LibDemFightBack proving popular, helped of course by the 
video of our present Tory MP :)

While, for those of us who have been stung by the roaming charges when on holiday, and recognise the benefit of our involvement in Europe, there is some good news after it was announced that a political deal has been reached in Brussels to 
scrap mobile roaming fees in the EU by 2017, following almost two years of negotiations.

All roaming surcharges for travellers in the EU, whether for calls, texts or data, will be completely 
abolished as of June 15, 
2017.