Campaign to raise money for Peterborough ‘wasted thousands of pounds’, Liberal Democrats claim

The launch of the Stand Up For Peterborough campaign outside the Town Hall
The launch of the Stand Up For Peterborough campaign outside the Town Hall
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Thousands of pounds have been wasted on a campaign to raise funding for Peterborough, Liberal Democrat city councillors have claimed.

The party’s council group said the authority’s Stand Up For Peterborough campaign had “delivered nothing and changed nothing” despite more than £21,000 being spent on promoting the cause through video and audio.

Council leader Cllr John Holdich denied the claim and highlighted millions of pounds of new funding which had been handed over by the Government since last April.

The campaign launched in September 2017 and called on “fairer funding” for Peterborough, which has been badly hit by government cuts.

Lib Dem member for Fletton and Stanground Cllr James Lillis said: “By every measure the Conservatives have failed to ‘Stand Up For Peterborough”. They’ve wasted tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer money on a campaign which has delivered nothing and changed nothing.

“At a time when the council is failing to deal with litter, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour more residents are right to demand better of the Conservative administration.”

The £21,650 spent on the campaign was revealed in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Cllr Lillis.

A second FOI showed no cabinet members or directors had referenced the campaign in any email in the four months to November.

The Lib Dems have now submitted a motion to be debated at next week’s Full Council meeting calling for the campaign to be replaced by a new cross-party campaign which meets regularly in public.

Leader of the council’s Lib Dem group Cllr Nick Sandford said: “The level of inaction by those leading the campaign now leads us to believe we need to set up a new campaign which is led on a cross-party basis, and this group should meet in public so we can ensure the failures of the Stand Up For Peterborough campaign are not repeated.”

Cllr John Holdich said: “We continue to lobby behind the scenes, together with other local authorities. The Stand Up For Peterborough campaign is still running on a local level.

“However, we have found we are more successful in achieving change nationally by linking up with other councils and government organisations, thereby speaking with a louder voice.”

To counter claims the campaign has not been a success, the council has released a list of grants it has received from the Government since April 1, 2018.

These are:

. Winter Pressures grant 2018/19 - £794,000

. Social Care Funding 2019/20 - £2.15 million (This includes the Winter Pressures grant for 2019/20)

. Rough Sleeper Outreach grant 2018/19 - £285,000

. Rough Sleeper Outreach grant 2019/20 - £346,000

. Integrated Communities Strategy funding - £1 million