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FOCUS www.peterboroughlibdems.org.uk

Edition: 61

“Working All Year Round”

SOUTH WERRINGTON and NORTH GUNTHORPE RESIDENTS’ NEWSLETTER

TEAM CONTACT DETAILS: Councillor: Darren Fower FOCUS Editor: David Hedges Tel: 07860 649578 Text or call Darren’s mobile: 07581 711 434 Email: SWNG_FOCUS @peterboroughlibdems.org.uk Ward website: www.campaigns. libdems.org.uk/SWNG Darren’s website: www.darrenfower. mycouncillor.org.uk Facebook: www.facebook.com/SWNG. FOCUS.Team Post: Cllr Darren Fower, Town Hall, Bridge Street, Peterborough PE1 1HG

Residents’ survey progress continues Your local Liberal Democrat FOCUS Team is still continuing its annual Residents‟ Survey, once again aiming to call at every house in the area to seek your views on local issues. The team has now completed almost one third of the ward, most recently calling on homes in Dukesmead, Werrington Grove, Lincoln Road, Staverton Road, Rivendale, Carron Drive, Sharma Leas and Danish Court. If you are not at home when we call, please do mail the survey form back to us – or you can complete it on-line at www.ourcampaign.org.uk/SWNG. Every issue raised by residents is passed to local Liberal Democrat councillor Darren Fower and, where appropriate, to council officers. If you can help deliver and collect the survey, please contact Darren.

DAVID HEDGES TO LEAD LOCAL FOCUS TEAM David Hedges, chairman of the Werrington Neighbourhood Council, has joined the Werrington and North Gunthorpe Liberal Democrat FOCUS Team as editor. A resident of South Werrington for over 20 years, David has international business experience with major companies and also running his own business. Elected as a co-opted member of Werrington Neighbourhood Council (WNC) in 2007 to fulfil the organisation‟s press and PR functions, he became chairman in 2009 and is extremely active in the council‟s affairs and in support of local residents. “It is extremely satisfying to be able to assist residents with day to day issues,” he told us. “Hardly a day passes without some query or problem to deal with, whether it be neighbourly disputes, flytipping or deeper problems. “The neighbourhood council has always been ready to assist and I am proud to have been selected to lead the outstanding voluntary team.” He is also the neighbourhood council member of the team that produces the „Spotlight‟ newsletter, writing the editorials and contributing much of the feature content – so his new role with FOCUS, combining editing this David Hedges taking part in the publication and leading campaigns is an FOCUS Residents’ Survey in Lincoln Road. easy step. David said: “I was brought up in a very politically minded family. Both my parents and grandparents were actively involved in local politics, as activists as well as local and county councillors, while still finding time to be heavily involved in national charities. “I hold incredibly strong feelings about the current management of our city. We can and should feel proud to be both Werringtonians and Peterburghians but so much more could be achieved if there was a stronger opposition at the Town Hall and the council leadership listened to the residents.” David will be stepping back slightly from his WNC and Spotlight roles. He will continue to support both organisations but is anxious not to bring politics into them. The neighbourhood council unanimously agreed that he should remain chair but he made it very clear that he will avoid conflicts of interest. Local Liberal Democrat ward councillor Darren Fower said: “I am enormously pleased that David has agreed to take a leading role in our campaigning on behalf of local residents. His background and experience will be of huge benefit to the team and to the campaigns.”


Sweeping up the landscaping Questions asked by local Lib Dem councillors have revealed that unskilled street cleaners will look after trees and shrubs when a private company takes over landscape management from Peterborough City Council.

Liberal Democrats are campaigning in favour of ‘AV’ – the Alternative Vote – in the referendum which takes place in May.

LOCAL TORIES BACK CUTS

Enterprise, the company which is taking over city services from the council, plans to save money by using street cleaners to do landscape management. Local Liberal Democrat councillor Darren Fower said: “This implies that the council sees our trees, shrubs and landscaping as on a par with rubbish being swept from the streets. “That is certainly evident in the way the council is currently chopping down trees and ripping out shrubs across the city.”

Despite enjoying free parking throughout the city, mobile phones and payments on top of their basic salaries, city councillors have now agreed a budget that will see hours reduced at Werrington Library, a 1,600% increase in charging old people to attend day care centres, selling the street cleaning department to a private company, selling off council assets and cutting at least 180 jobs. So who voted for these cuts? Well the two Conservative councillors in this area did! Local Liberal Democrat councillor Darren Fower verbally attacked the Conservative administration of the city council, proposing a range of alternative savings to protect front line services. Among other things the Lib Dems suggested senior council officers should take a pay cut, the costly Your Peterborough magazine (described as a „council propaganda sheet‟) should be scrapped and some councillors should themselves have their allowances cut. While Darren fought your corner, the two Conservative councillors for this area just sat waiting to vote in favour of this terrible budget. Darren handed his car parking pass back over two years ago and has now requested that his ‘special responsibility allowance’ be stopped for the next three years.

Local Lib Dems are supporting the Forest for Peterborough initiative, which aims to plant one tree for each of the 170,000 people in Peterborough over the next 15 years. However, they have pointed out that the way the council and its contractors behave in mass removal of trees and shrubs works against such initiatives and fails to recognise the massive benefits to local people which trees and the natural environment provide.

Access to lake

The beauty of the lakes at Cuckoo‟s Hollow can now be enjoyed fully by Paula Thacker, one of the Tory councillors for this area, has been disabled and elderly residents. selected as „Mayor Elect‟ – meaning that if all goes according to The installation of a platform has given a section of the bank a flat edge, which means the Tory plan, she will become mayor in May this year.

TAKING YOU FOR GRANTED?

This is despite the fact that Ms Thacker is standing for re-election as a Werrington and Gunthorpe councillor in May. If she loses the election she will not be a councillor any longer – and therefore cannot be mayor. FOCUS Editor David Hedges said: “Although Paula Thacker may be a worthy choice as mayor, this is making a mockery of the democratic process and taking the voters of Werrington for granted. “What if you, the voters, elect someone else as your local councillor? How can the Tories dare to presume that you will vote Conservative? “The idea of choosing a Mayor Elect is to allow that person to prepare for a year in office which involves a great deal of work. If you fail to back Ms Thacker at the polls, the council will have to select another mayor at short notice. It is very poor planning.”

that wheelchair users, mums with buggies or people unsteady on their feet can get closer to the water. FOCUS Editor David Hedges said: "The work was carried out following lobbying by the neighbourhood council and others. “It is to be hoped that current attempts to improve community input into the area will bring positive results to Cuckoo's Hollow without detracting from the many other open spaces around our community that deserve equal attention.”

Printed by P’boro Lib Dem Printing Soc c/o 37 Swift Close, Deeping St James PE6 8QQ. Published and promoted for and on behalf of the Liberal Democrats by Peter Chivall, 88 Elmfield Rd, P’boro PE1 4HB


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