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Monday, January 28, 2013

Consultation on PCC Budget Cuts....


Can we afford this in the future?

Suggested PCC Budget Cuts click this link to view document for  CONSULTATION. 
Can you add your ideas ? 

email:  budget@peterborough.gov.uk  by the end of February !

These are our suggested PCC budget cuts, you'll probably think of a lot more. The consultation ends on March 7th, but based on past experience, they do tend to close the lists early, so get your thoughts in by the end of February - just to be certain of inclusion.


LGA -  Local Government Association 

Revoke full membership of this political lobby organisation.  Not value for money and they do not speak for all local authorities.

Communications Team. 

Reduce staffing to One Director of Public Relations and two press officers.

They should be in a position (like other councils) to research and publish as a minimum 10 press releases a week, and conduct 4 radio/TV interviews a week. There is little or no media training of councillors being carried out and if it is required there are a number of outside companies who do this on a regular basis.

End the contract to supply Your Peterborough which is generally regarded as a “Town Hall Pravda” replace this with an extended 4 xA4  ie A3 folded printed report delivered with  the council tax or social housing rent demand / statement.

Community Leaders Fund  

This should be cancelled, it is generally regarded as political patronage, gerrymandering even, cash for votes, and a gross and obvious misuse of public funds  ie paying for pantomime tickets, days out, coach trips, and numerous Christmas Parties. If retained all CLF funds should only be spent within designated ward boundaries.

CLICK ON READ MORE ICON



Solar Park & Wind Farm

As the Leader of the Council is commercially involved with this sector; the PCC should not be in anyway connected. Unless a substantial financial return can be guaranteed, not hiding behind commercial confidentiality this grandiose adventure should be cancelled and the arable land returned to the tenant farmers already on site.

Acres of solar panels with reduced police resources will act as a vandal magnet and many panels will be stolen and sold off within months of installation. In any cases within a few years the technology will have developed to produce a much cheaper means of production - the panels will all need replacing by year 6 anyway – not designed for inclement extreme weather conditions and variations in temperatures, but the PCC will be left with outdated solar panels producing a minimal or negative return.  In Germany the solar panels are mounted on poles on autobahn and dual carriageway central reservations and roadside verges ie always in view!

The same goes for wind farms, the technology is still developing too early to get involved.

Riverside Development and Railway Sheds.

This is likely to be a vacant site for many years to come, as flooding issues increase over the coming years and as we enter into a triple dip recession.  There is however great commercial mileage and revenue generation in turning the disused railways sheds into prime venues for music concerts (along the lines of the chalk farm railway turntable shed known as The Roundhouse)

The PCC will in any event have to make the structures a safe ‘four walls’ building, they are well away from  residential areas so noise would not be an issue (consult concert producers such as Harvey Goldsmith for advice and possible long term leasing).

Night time Clubs and Bars 

TV programmes  such as Cop Squad repeated endlessly on SKY channels show just how squalid Peterboroughs’ late night bars and drinking economy is.  Licensing Officers need to step up and charge for the number of inspection visits of premises, crack down on the number of drunks leaving these premises, savagely revoke on-licences where the police and agencies ie NHS have to expend significant resources.

Vivacity 

This is an unmitigated financial black hole, operational disaster also a permanent drain on resources. End the current arrangement, masterminded by an ex councillor who failed to be re elected. Open competitive Re-tender required.  Cancel Vivacity forward computer software development projects. Cut computer stations by half at Central library, update ‘illegal sites list’  invest properly in books and trained librarians.

Long lease out the Key Theatre to a theatrical producer (charge a commercial rent/ realistic box office split for four walls and inbound productions, lease out bar operations – Use Lyric Theatre Hammersmith as a model).

Lease out swimming pools/gyms.

Close down or lease out  to commercial operator Dogsthorpe ‘hydrotherapy’ heated spa pool, and in place offer cut rate swimming pool entrance fees.

Peterborough Museum, Money Pit, cancel future spending plans until commercial sponsorship can be obtained say 50/50   Rent out in evenings as a reception/ drinks venue as other museums do.

Cathedral Square 

Regular weekday market in Cathedral Square.  Turn off water jets (fountains) if possible sell off system – never ending moneypit and promoter of water borne diseases.

Burger Bar 

Either remove or susbstantially increase rental to include daily steam cleaning to remove greased area of square around stall. Remove seating area.

Play Centres  

Rather than close them, lease them out to private operators. Note new commercial Play centre has opened in Park Farm.

Council

Reduce number of councillors to one per ward. Maximum term two 5 year sessions. Councillors not holding monthly surgeries and must have better than 50% attendance record, or denied a second term.

Basic annual allowance £5,000.  ( leader £6K) Monthly expenses allowance £100 plus smart phone and internet access. Allowances credited onto PCC capped credit card account, no cash transactions.  NO CLF money
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+++ Heart Breaking News +++  This extract from Facebook has just landed on the mat at Trib Towers. Cllr Turnip (for it is he) has obviously taken note (in true robotic voting form) of the Leader of the Councils edict that conservative councillors should not accept the current increase, essentially  jacking up their basic annual allowance to an astonishing £9,300:00!.  We'd be far more impressed if the allowances were capped at £5,000, which is roughly in line with the  substantial cuts elsewhere in the PCC budget.

We are not aware that a series of votes has already taken place on allowances although Cllr Turnip assures us he will continue to vote no...

Councillor Harper I'll continue to vote NO to any increase. I'm sure many of you will have read in the press about the new independent panel recommendation that the basic councillor allowance be increased from £7,165.95 to £9,300.00 per annum. If the majority of councillors choose to vote this through it will impact [INCREASE] the 2013/2014 budget by some £104,010.
 The councillor also fails to mention that basic allowances are sweetened by a series of responsibility allowances which in some cases add many thousands of pounds to the overall amount banked by each councillor.

------------------------------
Town Hall Catering

Civic catering to be outsourced on competitive tender, no alcohol, cash bars only.

Opportunity Peterborough

Close down and outsource on commission only basis ie Commission paid out each new investment /firm introduced. Organisation charged office rental (empty Bridge Street unit) but needs to be outward looking , and punching well above its current weight.

Safer Peterborough Partnership 

Close down, poor value for money, let the Police do what they are already fully trained and qualified to do.

Environment City 

This is never going to work in a million years, see what Glasgow is doing (scroll down) scale right down.. The carbon free boxes next to the footy ground are an embarrassment

Taxi cabs  

We have very scruffy and some dirty cabs. Take leaf out of Brightons book, all cabs liveried in same civic colours and same type of vehicle specified.  Rank charges varied by areas and cab licence fees tripled. Dirty cabs will have licence revoked / suspended.

Empty Shop Units  

Fronts to be uniformly boarded up and the street facing surface used for graphic/artistic work and hired out as graphic advertising promotional billboards.

Have a look at the proposed PCC Budget document, click this link.


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Editorial policy: WE DON'T CENSOR NEWS, we will however come down hard on lawbreakers, all forms of ASB - Anti Social Behaviour, and anyone or group who seek to disturb or disrupt our neighbourhoods and communities, or in anyway abuse, take unfair advantage or financially disadvantage our citizens.

We support the Park Farm Neighbourhood Watch and digitally carry the messages from this independently resourced Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. A scheme operated following written guidelines to us directly from the Home Office.

We are openly but constructively critical of all political parties (actual and sham), pressure groups, overbearing 'jobsworths' and those who seek to waste public funds, abuse public office, ramp up expenses, BUY VOTES and/or engage in any form of directed or robotic voting.

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So it could be some days before the copy (content) is seen by the Editor and properly formatted. We consider all representations and correct any facts that are clearly deficient.


OUR HUMAN RIGHT TO LAMPOON AND CRITICISE POLITICIANS

The Peterborough Tribune supports:

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) an international non-profit organisation working to defend the freedom to be informed and to inform others throughout the world.

Today, 30 years since its creation, RSF has enough experience and on-the-ground support to defend press freedom on a global scale. RSF accomplishes its work through its wide network of correspondents established in 130 countries, its 12 offices (Vienna, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, Helsinki, Berlin, Madrid, Stockholm, Geneva, Tunis, Washington DC, London, and Paris) and its consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe.

As a leading defender of press freedom and freedom of information, RSF alternates public interventions and effective behind-the-scenes actions. www.rsf.org/en





THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.


Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).

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NUJ Code of Conduct

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Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

A journalist:

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10 Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed

11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare

12 Avoids plagiarism The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code.

The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code

The NUJ logo is always a link to the home page.

(As modified at Delegate Meeting 2011)

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