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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

You do not understand, if we do not deliver within the law, we will be removed Marco Cereste Conservative Leader Peterborough City Council

You do not understand, if we do not deliver within the
 law, we will be removed

Julian Bray writes:  You like me gentle reader, may be confused by the Dear Leaders sudden use of Twitter, to justify what will be a substantial slash in already cut back council services and (finally) a reduction in headcount at the PCC.  The cutbacks are not just within the Unitary Authority of the City of Peterborough, as this link shows...

I was always struck by the amount of nepotism so publicly displayed and the cunning use of maiden and surnames to disguise the fact that whole family units were/are holding down major officer roles within this small Unitary Authority, and paid very generous public sector salaries with eye watering annual increases virtually guaranteed. Life was really good....

Let us be very clear Marco Cereste does not have to 'do his job' he can any time he chooses step down, or signal his clear intention not to run again, in a few months time, leaving the way open for someone else, to apply a different set of values to the difficult task ahead. Mr Cereste does after all have a string of businesses to run and these will always require his attention.

I'm inviting everyone to ensure they are properly registered to vote and to use their vote tactically during both the Local Government Election and the General Elections in May 2015.

I am also suggesting the above tweets are copied off and read again aloud to the doorstep canvassers when the Conservative (other parties are available) election machine cranks up and harvests your vote by any (legal) means possible.

Marco Cereste is an intelligent man, proudly decorated by a grateful country for promoting their interests; the fact that its Italy doing the decorating makes no difference.

He's set up many commercial organisations - some sadly no longer trading, so he experienced the sleepless nights of failure, but bounced back - other organisations he's had a hand in, financially doing well, but at least the money wasn't borrowed public funds, and the only people who could get hurt apart from the directors, are shareholders and sometimes bankers unless of course the firm goes bust then everyone suffers. Simply the council isn't his personal piggy bank or corporate playground.

Cereste has often said that when times were better,  that he runs the council,  sorry Unitary Authority, on business lines, but that to my mind, shows the flaw in his political makeup. The council is/was supposed to provide services to the people it serves. THAT IS IT.  Not a commercial organisation, more a mutual society. It was never designed to wring money out of its residents, and we have seen some schemes that are so close to what is legally accepted. The CCTV snoop cars being a recent all time low.  

But if Cereste goes who takes over? Well guess what it doesn't really matter! Provided that we get a commercially clued up chief executive with hard nosed sound experience of industry and people management. Mrs Gillian Beasley (or is that her maiden name? Who is she married to? Does Hubby work for the council? Amazing how far conspiracy strands can be spun... ) is in my own view not that person, she is also decorated - has an OBE - from this country.

She has done, say the experts, great work in child protection, hails from Leeds and has been in local authority legal departments, most of her professional life. She's been our City solicitor, and now for some while a Chief Executive.

She has also added to the debt mountain by rubber stamping a series of over generous salary packages and from what I can see is top heavy with qualified and near qualified solicitors!!!! What on earth is she thinking? About to hire another one this week at £95k per annum before announcing the latest round of redundancies.

Clearly we need an executive in place who can like the northern cities put relentless continuing pressure on Westminster to pile in funds. Compared to the favoured City of Cambridge, the City of Peterborough continues to be badly treated, simply we have few heavyweights in important places, batting for this City. If you disagree, name a few....

Stewart Jackson the Conservative MP who styles himself the MP for Peterborough isn't exactly best mates with Marco Cereste, so no support,  and won't be going on holiday with each other anytime soon. So at best there is a political disconnect between the Conservative leader of the no overall control council and the Conservative MP. We do have another Conservative MP Shailesh Vara, but his constituency is huge by comparison and takes in the wealthy part of the county. So no traction there.

So again referencing the tweets above, the writing is on the wall. Cereste and his property owning cohorts - some of Peterboroughs very active landlords - won't like Turkeys be voting for Christmas - so no increase in council tax to be applied to their properties, but sheer madness parking charges are being applied to all in council car parks, virtually ensuring that with the much reduced bus services, those with cars will venture away from the City to nearby towns with an enlightened attitude to retailers needs and cheaper or free parking.


The gift that keeps on giving... a loyal reader of this blog has just pinged over this amazing piece of blinkered homespun logic from the seriously deluded Cllr Turnip (aka Cllr Christopher John Harper CON Stanground East) its worth running in full.

 Cllr Turnip says he works for Lloyds Bank err installing electric sockets and changing lightbulbs, and has branched out into loft installations (Gulp!). The Ombudsman has recently censured some of his goings on connected with the Planning Committee and some Fletton Road planning decisions.  And seemingly turfing out the people running the Green Backyard! He owns a white Caravan. So ideally suited to put together a complex financial document. He's up for re-election in May 2015.  As ever read and weep:
Update 17th November - Did you hear [the BBC] Radio Cambridgeshire budget debate today?   You'll recall I challenged the Labour, Liberals Democrats, Independents and UKIP councillors in opposition to work with us on the budget proposals but as predicted all they could bang on about this morning was how this was a disastrous budget for Peterborough. However, when asked about the cross party talks only one party could offer an idea to help save a small amount of money.

The Labour party spokesman advised they had told the Leader of the council how to save the money required and it was up to him to tell the rest of us. What?

The Independents including the new UKIP members hadn't any real idea how to save any money. The Liberal Democrats did suggest we stop cutting the grass to save 'less than a million'.

So lets recap. We need to save [for save read slash/cut] £25M [this year, what about the overall £95 million debt] and between them the complete opposition to the current Conservative [NO OVERALL CONTROL] administration have suggested a saving of about £1M! So that just leaves £24M to go then?

Honestly, anyone who has one of these opposition [NOC]  members as their local councillor should seriously be asking them what the point is of them being an elected councillor if this is the best they can do? They were elected to represent their ward and our city and work to make it a success, not stand on the sidelines and just object to everything in this budget proposal without offering any tangible alternatives. [Cllr Turnip in danger of being in a glasshouse and throwing stones out of it. He has been a five year disaster for Stanground East]

I [Cllr Turnip] now challenge all opposition parties to publicly publish their own 'fully costed' alternative budget instead of just opposing what's on the table. No councillor can walk away from this and the Conservatives won't because its our duty no matter how unpopular it is, to deliver a balanced fully costed budget.

Clearly the robotic voting Cllr Turnip, still doesn't get it.  He's not for example balanced the books at Registered Charity Number 271705 for many, many, many years, where a number of Stanground councillors and public funds are intimately  involved.  And how can anyone 'in opposition' [Cllr Turnip forgets it a No Overall Control Council] or within this City come up with a balanced fully costed budget when Conservatives (ie Marco Cereste) continually refuse to open the books on grounds of commercial confidentiality and most decisions are taken in private before the public council session?  The PBROTRIB has however vey helpfully put some ideas up .... 

Finally, you can pull up all our posts and even the voting/attendance records of  all those we feature just look for the search box (top left hand corner  enter a word such as Cereste, LED Street lights, Walsh) and go back a few years. Form your own view. Knowledge after all is power. Use it!   

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