LETTER: Sad state as Peterborough City Council cancel meeting as there is '˜no important business to discuss'

What a sad state of affairs that the Mayor of Peterborough had to cancel the April Peterborough City Council meeting for there was no important business for the 60 councillors to conduct and it clearly demonstrates that the council is on its way out.

Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 4:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 4:36 pm
Charles Swift with a portrait at the Town Hall in May 2011, 50 years after he was elected as Mayor of Peterborough has now hit out at the council on which he served for so long

As far as I can recall this is the first time since the City Council gained its charter in 1874 that a council meeting has had to be cancelled for lack of business.

May I give an example of when I was Mayor in 1961/62 this was the Council agenda for April 1962:

There was at that time 27 elected councillors unpaid and at that meeting there were reports from eight committees covering 78 pages to be endorsed by the Council.

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The approvals contain the building of 400 council houses per year, the clearing of the 200 slum properties in the city centre, the building on the embankment of the running track, swimming pool and Wirrina Youth Stadium. Mortgage loans to young people purchasing properties from the City Council, improving of the water supply to every property, for the city council owned the water undertaking.

The Police, Fire and Regional Hospital Board joint reports for we had membership on these authorities, the discussion on the London overspill on the Westward Estates, new trunk road from Albert Place to New England and the allocation of council properties for the teaching profession.

Purchase also of some 400 acres of land for future city council developments.

The council at that period was a hive of activities with every elected member participating. There are today no committees where councillors participate in the provision of services for these now are all delegated to other agencies.

It has been drawn to my attention that one subject that could have been discussed was the number of pot holes and houses that have been standing empty over 10 years in various wards in the city.

Charles Swift - Hon Alderman & Freeman of the City