Council leader hits back at MP after criticisms of budget

Fiona Onasanya
Fiona Onasanya

The leader of Peterborough City Council has hit back at the city’s Labour MP over criticisms of the authority’s budget.

MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya used her Peterborough Telegraph column to accuse the council of backtracking on its own Stand Up For Peterborough campaign for more government funding.

She wrote: “I didn’t realise that Standing Up For Peterborough equated to simply rolling over and acquiescing to an 80 per cent reduction in our government grant? I was under the impression it equated to fighting tooth and nail for the people we represent.”

She added: “When (residents) see the council fighting for them, instead of imposing swathes of cuts, they will fight for the council in return.”

The MP also hit out at budget proposals to cut subsidised bus routes and save around £1 million from the adult social care budget.

But council leader Cllr John Holdich said the campaign is working, with £792,000 extra social care funding, £284,000 more to help rough sleepers and £1.5 million for the integrated communities project, with another funding announcement coming in December.

He added: “It’s a bit rich when the Labour councillors have not taken part in the budget process.

“I sent her a copy of the budget two Fridays ago. She said she would come back to me but she hasn’t yet. It’s appalling you can give someone information, they say they will come back to you then do the debate in the media.”