“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
MEETING TO DISCUSS HEALTH BUDGET As this issue of FOCUS went to print the city council was set to hold a special meeting of the Scrutiny Commission for Health Issues to consider the increasing financial problems of the Peterborough Primary Care Trust (PCT). In December 2009 the PCT said it would have a record £7 million overspend by the end of the financial year but in early February it admitted that the figure was in fact £9.6 million. The problems have already led to the trust’s chief executive resigning and increasing calls for the chair of the PCT’s board to also resign. The meeting was only arranged after calls from local councillor Darren Fower, the Lib Dem representative on the Health Committee, for some level of accountability over the fiasco. The meeting will have taken place by the time you receive this issue of FOCUS. We will report on the results in a future issue.
LIB DEMS BACK DARREN Local Liberal Democrats have agreed that Werrington and Gunthorpe councillor Darren Fower should defend his seat at the council elections to be held on 6 May. In fact, the decision was a formality as Darren’s record of service to the local community and his campaigning work on behalf of local residents meant that he was ‘reselected’ unopposed. Speaking after the meeting which backed his re-election Darren said: “It is only right that local party members should have an opportunity to consider my record, to ask me questions and to decide whether I should carry the Liberal Democrat banner into another round of elections. “I am delighted to receive the unanimous backing of local members and look forward to working with them in the forthcoming election campaign. “Receiving this backing is just the start, of course. Whether or not I continue as city councillor for this area will be decided by the votes of all the residents.” Local Liberal Democrats hope that Darren’s commitment to serving the community – including regular publication of these FOCUS newsletters, now on issue number 54 – will encourage people to turn out and vote for him at the elections on Darren Fower – seeking your vote! Thursday 6 May. As this issue of FOCUS went to press there was still no confirmation that the general election will also be held on 6 May – but it is widely expected that this will be the date. By the time you receive FOCUS you will probably know more about this than the FOCUS Team did when we wrote it! Whenever the general election takes place, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Peterborough will be another local councillor. Nick Sandford, who represents the nearby Walton ward on the city council, is seeking to become the city’s first Liberal Democrat MP. He said: “I am delighted to support Darren’s campaign for re-election in Werrington and Gunthorpe. It is difficult to imagine a more hard-working councilor than Darren who really gets ‘stuck in’ in support of local residents.”
PLANS TO BE DISCUSSED Controversial plans to create allotments on behind the Paston and Gunthorpe Community Centre have been put ‘on hold’ (at least for the moment) after local Liberal Democrat councillor Daren Fower presented a petition from local people opposing the proposals. As we have reported in previous issues of FOCUS, the council needs to create new allotments to replace allotments being lost at Itter Park where it plans to sell land for development. Now residents are invited to have their say on an alternative proposal to create an allotment site on part of Werrington Recreation Ground. There is to be a consultation event at the Education Centre on Church Street, Werrington, on Tuesday 13 April 2010 from 4.15 pm to 7 pm. You can turn up at any time between these hours. • Please accept our apologies if you do not receive FOCUS before this meeting takes place – our monthly schedule sometimes makes it difficult to give you news of forthcoming events. You can keep up to date by visiting our website (www.campaigns.libdems.org.uk/SWNG). where you can sign up for our electronic FOCUS – something which
we can publish much more swiftly than this paper version.
LIB DEM CANDIDATE QUERIES COUNCIL TRUST Peterborough’s libraries, sports and cultural services are to be handed over to a ‘trust’ – an un-elected, unaccountable body – and this could come at a heavy price for local people, says Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Nick Sandford. Nick asked some searching questions of council officers and the proposed chair of the new trust at a city council committee meeting. The questioning established that:
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
1. The new trust will also be a company limited by guarantee. Once appointed, most of the trustees can only be removed by a meeting of the members of the company. And the members of the After weeks of hard work and negotiation, the company are …you guessed it…. the trustees. Nick called this a controversial issue of the fence around Norwood “self perpetuating oligarchy” and what it means in practice is a School (Gunthorpe Road) has now concluded in severe lack of democracy and accountability.
what local Liberal Democrat councillor Darren
2. Councillors will lose any control over charges levied by sports Fower says is “an acceptable compromise”. centres and other facilities. Officers said charges will be At a meeting at the Town Hall involving parents, determined by “market forces” and the aim will be to provide high residents, teachers, council officers and Cllr Fower, quality services. Gyms and other facilities in the private sector do it was agreed: provide high quality services …but at a much greater cost to users! 1. To replace the damaged and existing fence with a ‘non prison-like’ fence about 5 feet high. 3. The main performance measure of the Key Theatre will be the 2. To erect signs stating that the field is available number of tickets sold, leading to concern that there will be for use by the public outside school hours. dumbing down of content to put on the most popular shows, at the 3. To elect key holders from residents in Elter expense of a number of minority and cultural interests. Good for Walk who will lock the gates each evening. fans of the Chippendales maybe, but what about people who like 4. To replace the existing gates . opera, ballet and other less popular shows? 5. To have signs to explain that dogs are not to be walked on the fenced-off area. Nick said after the meeting: “The Tories have been discussing 6. To put several new waste and dog dirt bins hiving off these services to a trust for nearly ten years but the fact they choose to do it in the middle of a recession indicates that it is around the edge of the field. 7. To establish a committee to manage the field. more about making quick savings than about improving service. After the meeting Darren said: “I think this is an “Even if there are savings, it could well be at the expense of higher charges to users and a severe reduction in democracy and outcome that most people will be happy with. “I’d like to thank all those residents who signed accountability. How many people in Peterborough actually want their libraries to be run by a private un-elected body and how many our petitions and to those who ended up becoming more involved.” were consulted about this or other aspects of the proposals?” 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