It is no surprise we are confused

Reading the news of late, I am struck that our politicians seem to like to confuse us, says Liberal councillor and deputy mayor Chris Ash.

Saturday, 16th December 2017, 12:00 pm
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph -, @peterboroughtel on Twitter,

Now we hear of the Canada plus, plus approach. Not sure what that means. Take Brexit - I wish somebody would, and get it sorted!

We seem to hear daily of the trails and tribulations of seemingly mixed up , confusing ideas .

Anyway, our Prime Minister, Mrs May, was a Remain supporter, now she is negotiating for Brexit, hampered it seems by her lead minister who has not, if the news is anything to go by, done his homework nor prepared any written report as to how it might all turn out

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The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, who was a Leave supporter, now seems to want to make things very difficult for Mrs M and our negotiators, and you might think he is now an ardent Remain supporter who would rather not have any change in how things worked before the referendum. Wouldn’t it be grand if they all got together and worked together to agree a deal in the true spirit of democracy?

Then we might have the EU accepting that more flexibility is called for, and that a good deal for both sides is needed. Okay, it ain’t ever going to happen.

It’s not just all this Brexit stuff that our government seems to confuse us with.

They tell us they support localism and devolving power down to local government. Though as far as I can tell it has not really happened. Then again, I never expected it would.

Many people are still unsure and ask us what the differences are between our own Mayor and the elected political Mayor that covers our city as well as the councils in Cambridgeshire. (known as the combined authority Peterborough and Cambridgeshire).

So, perhaps I should add a quick reminder. The elected mayor and his officials covers things such as transport, skills and planning across the combined authority.

The role is a political one and no doubt whoever is in the post now, or in the future, will be promoting party political policies. It has the potential for parts of the combined authority area losing out. I have always thought calling this post ‘Mayor’ confuses things

Our own mayor, like many local city and town mayors is a ceremonial post and is appointed for a year by the council to act as an impartial ambassador promoting the city and supporting local groups. The mayor is not there to push party politics but to show and highlight the good things about our city.

By joining the combined authority we had the carrot of extra funding, and the stick of losing out. I can’t help feeling we were sold a pup!

We now have massive cuts to our revenue grant from the national government. It was all very well having vague promises of new projects via the combined authority, but that seems to count for nothing if we can’t fund essential services. To add insult to injury, new projects being announced seem to be outside of the city. We must stand up for Peterborough. It’s pleasing to know that the Stand Up for Peterborough campaign has support from all political parties in the city. We are told Peterborough is one of, if not the fastest growing city in England – we deserve more recognition. Recognition for the work within our communities, recognition of the great diversity in the city, and recognition for the excellent transport links and the part we in Peterborough can play in the nation’s economy.

So let’s all stand up for Peterborough and try to , in spite of the massive underfunding from government, take steps forward and not slide back.

Let’s all work for a brighter future and for better things next year and thereafter of course. I wish everyone Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Good wishes to you all for 2018!