WALTON RESIDENTS' NEWSLETTER
CONTACT FOCUS By phone: Call local Liberal Democrat councillors Nick Sandford – 01733 268460 –
or Asif Shaheed on 0757 246 3526.
By post: Cllr Nick Sandford or
Cllr Asif Shaheed, Town Hall, Bridge St, Peterborough PE1 1HG
By e-mail: nick.sandford@ Peterborough.gov.uk or asif.shaheed@ peterboroughlibdems.org.uk
Or at the councillors’ ward ‘surgery': 6:00 to 7:00 pm,
first Friday of every month in Community Centre, Mountsteven Avenue.
SEE OUR WEBSITE:
FIND US ON FACEBOOK:
Search for ‘Walton FOCUS team’
WIN CASH AND HELP FOCUS! Although FOCUS is written and delivered by volunteers we do have to pay for printing. One way we do that is through the 100 Club which raises money for FOCUS while also paying cash prizes to its members.
A NEW PARISH COUNCIL? Walton could have its own parish council in a few years from now following a dramatic policy reversal by Marco Cereste, the Tory leader of Peterborough City Council. When Marco became council leader four years ago he set up area committees across the city. The one covering Walton also included Paston and Werrington. He promised that these committees would have power to make important local decisions and have budgets passed down to them. But none of this happened and they became ‘talking shops’. Members of the public realised that the committees were a waste of time and hardly any of them bothered to attend the meetings. Now Marco has changed his mind and has suddenly abolished the committees…. to save £30,000 on the budget. Meanwhile the government is urging councils to set up parish councils to deal with local functions such as managing green areas and preparing community plans. Cash may be available from property developers to pay for parish councils and their work through the new ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ – basically a tax on new housing and commercial development. All the rural areas in Peterborough and many urban areas already have parish councils. Council officers are now looking at ‘parishing’ the rest of the city. Local Liberal Democrat councillor Nick Sandford called for speedy action to make sure Walton does not lose out. He said: “This is typical of our Tory council leader. Policies not properly thought through and then suddenly abandoned. It’s a complete mess. “Lib Dems think key local decisions should be made by local people not by Marco and his friends in the town hall. If a parish council is the best way of enabling that to happen in Walton then that is what we should have.” What do you think? Would you like Walton to have its own elected parish council? Or do you think Marco should decide what is best for local people?
PLANNING COMPLAINT INVESTIGATED Residents in Arundel Road concerned about the large three storey building being constructed on the site of the former Royal Oak pub in Lincoln Road have had their complaints rejected by the city council.
For just £1 per month you could enter the club’s monthly draw. Half the money received is paid out in prizes – much better odds than the National Lottery! For details see our website at www.peterboroughlibdems.org.uk or talk to your local councillors.
The council has admitted some procedural problems (like losing records of objections to the planning application!). However, the council has refused to agree that it was wrong to grant planning permission for the building which has windows overlooking some Arundel Road houses. Following pressure from your local Lib Dem councillors an independent investigator has been appointed to look at the issues. He is a planning lawyer from another city. Councillors Nick Sandford and Asif Shaheed want future development in Walton to fit in with the types of housing we already have here. They also want a review of how the council deals with planning complaints, following concerns about the way in which the current complaint has been handled.
LIB DEMS SLAM TORY COUNCIL BUDGET CUTS
LIB DEMS WIN IN BRETTON
“The council is faced with some difficult choices and has to cut its budget,” Nick said. “But the Liberal Democrats think it has made the wrong choices and set the wrong priorities.” The Tory proposals, which were bulldozed through at a council meeting in March, see funding for local bus services slashed in half, meaning that we could lose most of the evening bus services when the cuts bite later in the summer. Services for older people are reduced by over £2 million, including huge increases in charges for meals on wheels and day care. All the council’s play centres are to close. The local Werrington library will close one or two days each week and have shorter opening hours on other days. Happily, the Children’s play centres are to close and mobile library which visits Walton library opening hours will be shorter as a result of council budget cuts. will not be affected. Yet at the same time, our council continues to waste money. The Tories want to spend £2 million replacing paving stones and ‘street furniture’ in Long Causeway, £700,000 extra on chopping down trees and a whopping £87 million on building a new waste incinerator. And they are doubling the spending on the council newspaper, Your Peterborough, despite warnings from the government that councils should not be wasting money on politically biased publications such as these. There is some good news. The city council’s part of the Council Tax is being frozen …but your bill will still go up a bit as the police and fire services are asking for more money.
Only the Lib Dems and Labour put up candidates. Ironically, the by-election had been called for by the Labour Party, at a cost to local taxpayers, rather than wait until a more appropriate time. It was notable that the Tories did not put forward a candidate and fuels the belief that the area is slipping from their grasp. In North Bretton the Tories had all three council seats only a couple of years ago. Now they are down to just one and that’s occupied by the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care – who many expect to lose his seat come the next set of local elections!
Lib Dem FOCUS Team candidate and local resident Malcolm Pollock defeated the Labour candidate to win a seat on Bretton Parish Council in a Nick Sandford - Walton councillor and leader of the Liberal Democrat by-election that took place in group on the city council - has slammed our Tory council’s proposed February. budget cuts. He says they are “damaging and insensitive”.
STILL MUD ON ROAD
CAN YOU HELP? Could you spare an hour or so once a month to help deliver FOCUS? We are looking for new volunteers to join our fantastic band of deliverers in a few streets around Walton. If you can help please contact local councillors Nick Sandford or Asif Shaheed (see front page for details).
JOIN COUNCILLORS ONLINE Liberal Democrat councillors Nick Sandford and Asif Shaheed welcome your comments, complaints (and compliments) on Facebook. Just search for ‘Walton FOCUS Team’.
We thought the problems of dirt and mud in Windsor Avenue had been GREEN HERITAGE IN DANGER Local councillor Nick Sandford – resolved before Christmas – but we were wrong. At the end of last year residents were annoyed by large lorries coming out leader of the city’s Liberal Democrats of the old Precision Components building site dragging mud across the roads – recently helped local residents to and pavements. Promises were made about cleaning of the road and of the stop the felling of hundreds of trees in wheels of vehicles. There was a lull when work stopped over Christmas but in the Bretton Park area. the new year the problems started again. Local Liberal Democrat councillor Nick Sandford said: “I have asked the council to get a grip on this situation and ensure that the road is kept in a safe and reasonably clean condition. “People shouldn’t have to put on wellies just to walk to the shops. There is bound to be some dirt and disruption as the building work proceeds but we would like to see it minimised. “The good news, though, is that when the development is completed it should be an asset to the area, instead of the derelict pile of rubble that has blighted the area for the past few years.”
Council contractor Enterprise was planning to cut down swathes of healthy trees without replanting any. Obviously, chain-sawing is much more profitable than preserving our green heritage! Following Lib Dem complaints the number of trees to be felled was significantly reduced and some new trees were planted. Sadly, that was too late for one magnificent old tree on Bretton Way which was chopped down, despite it being over 270 years old!
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