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FOCUS www.peterboroughlibdems.org.uk

Edition: 53

“Working All Year Round”

SOUTH WERRINGTON and NORTH GUNTHORPE RESIDENTS’ NEWSLETTER

TEAM CONTACT DETAILS: Councillor: Darren Fower FOCUS Editor: Richard Olive Tel: 570238 or 573813 Mobile: 07932 021 349 Email: SWNG_FOCUS @peterboroughlibdems.org.uk Ward website: www.campaigns. libdems.org.uk/SWNG Post: Cllr Darren Fower, Town Hall, Bridge Street, Peterborough PE1 1HG

NEW SHELTER CAMPAIGN A SUCCESS We are pleased to report that after a long campaign by local residents, supported by the Lib Dems’ FOCUS Team, a new bus shelter has been installed outside Werrington Community Centre. Local Lib Dem councillor Darren Fower said: “It’s great to see the installation of the shelter and work to raise the kerb completed. “We have been working hard, meeting lots of people and running a petition and it just goes to show that campaigning can pay off. “More importantly, this means that bus passengers should now have a more comfortable experience.” Darren has also welcomed the news that the Werrington Neighbourhood Council has agreed to maintain the new shelter. He said: “It’s great that they are wiling to help. They already do so much throughout the ward that they must save the city council hundreds of pounds every year through their efforts.”

CAR PARK FIASCO A “fiasco of the highest order” – that is how local Lib Dem councillor Darren Fower has described the announcement that the city council will not enforce a planning application with the developers of the Werrington Centre to guarantee a community car park. The decision is likely to cost local tax payers tens of thousands of pounds. Last year the council approved a planning application for the Werrington Centre which made developers responsible for building a community car park on land which the council would provide. This would ensure that people could still park free of charge when using the centre even if Tesco (as expected) starts to charge for parking in future. This agreed planning application cited the tennis courts at Ken Stimpson School as the preferred location. However, there were alternative options (such as building on other council-owned land) agreed in case any problems arose with this preferred site. Now, let’s take a Planning Sadly, the council failed to check vote – hands up all Committee the legal position with regards to those in favour of the Private Finance Agreement that doing something sensible …….good, exists on the preferred site and so that’s no-one .. that option became impossible. Still, we had the back-up plans …. but actually, no, we did not. There is no council-owned land in the area suitable for use. To make matters worse, it turns out that the city council had hugely underestimated the actual cost of building a car park! This has now led to the council’s own planning committee deciding not to enforce the previous planning agreement. Instead, the developers will now make a ‘contribution’ to car park building costs which is less than the total required, leaving the council to find the rest of the money needed. Cllr Darren Fower, who attended the planning committee said: “Given the financial position of the council, these latest recommendations are madness! “The bottom line is that the developers signed the original agreement requiring, as advocated by this very committee, that spaces be reserved until there was an alternative site provided either by Tesco or by the council. That will not now happen. “At least now when people ask me how much influence Tesco has over our local authority, I’ll be able to cite a valid example of how they can get the local authority to change its mind and previous agreements. This episode has proved to be a fiasco of the highest order!”


DARREN FOR MAYOR? Liberal Democrat councillors in Peterborough have unanimously agreed to propose that local Lib Dem councillor Darren Fower for the post of Mayor of Peterborough for the next official year that starts in April. With a huge Tory majority on the city council, though, it is unlikely that Darren will be donning the robes at any time soon. It is far more likely that the Tories will (once again) pick one of their own members for the council’s ‘top job’.

ALLOTMENT THREAT And as a lifelong Conservative, do you think you will be (A) disappointed, (B) very disappointed or (C) extremely disappointed if there is a David Cameron Tory government?

BUDGET WASTE Lib Dems on the city council have attacked the Tory budget as wasteful and misguided. They have put forward alternatives which redirect over £1 million to more essential services without any additional increase in Council Tax. The Lib Dems are calling for a number of cuts proposed by the Tories to be reversed. Among them are: • Scrapping the charge which the Tories will impose on people who have one of their wheelie bins stolen. • Keeping open public loos which the Tories will close. • Reversing the cuts in bus service subsidy and the cuts in subsidy for school meals. • Ending the sale of allotment land to developers. • Reducing the cuts in the adult social care budget. We would put more money into essential services: • Improved maintenance of street lighting. • A speeded up programme of pavement repairs. • Extra investment in winter road gritting and snow clearance. • Increased support for the Primary Care Trust to help improve the health of people in Peterborough. This would be paid for by: • Scrapping the propaganda sheet “Your Peterborough”. • Postponing the Tory council leader’s pet water taxi scheme until the need for it has been evaluated. • Making the council employ fewer consultants. Currently it spends £8 million a year on lining the pockets of consultants. • Looking at cheaper options for waste management, including scrapping plans to spend nearly £60 million on an incinerator. Local Lib Dem councillor Darren Fower said: “All the time, council leader Councillor Cereste tells us that the council is short of money and the Council Tax needs to go up

yet again. Yet he is more than happy to waste money on pet projects such as the fountains in Cathedral Square, the water taxis and the massively expensive waste incinerator. “To pay for all this they are proposing a staggering £15 million of cuts and borrowing over £60 million next year.”

As we reported in our previous issue, the park area between Hallfields Lane and Gunthorpe Road is under threat because the city council wants to turn the area into allotments. The council needs to create new allotments to replace those being lost at Itter Park where land is being sold for housing development. After raising their concerns at a recent neighbourhood panel meeting, residents have now collected over 400 signatures on a petition which will be presented to the next council meting by local councillor Darren Fower. The recreation area separates three electoral wards - South Werrington, Paston and Walton. This means that there are eight councillors who could have taken this issue up and supported local residents. In reality only two did! Darren has campaigned on the issue, held two special ‘surgeries’ (one of them also attended by Nick Sandford, the Lib Dem councillor for Walton), met with residents, secured media attention and is now presenting the petition. Darren said: “Representing people is about speaking to people, listening to their concerns and making sure that their voices are heard. “The council is out of touch with people in this area. Although, given that it is a Torycontrolled council, I’m not surprised that local Tory councillors are failing to do their job!”

WARD ‘SURGERY’ DATES Speak to Cllr Darren Fower at one of his regular ‘surgeries’. Brookside Methodist Church, Gunthorpe Road

Time: 6pm – 7pm Date: 3rd Friday each month

Werrington Village Centre, Church St

Time: 6pm – 7pm Date: 1st Friday each month

Printed by P’boro Liberal Democrat Printing Society c/o 37 Swift Close, Deeping St James PE6 8QQ. Published & promoted for & on behalf of Liberal Democrats at 92 Swale Avenue, Peterborough PE4 7GT

FOCUS 53  

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