The following speech is that made by Cllr Darren Fower during the formal Budget Meeting at the Town Hall that took place on Wednesday 5th March 2014. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page if you have any thoughts on what Darren has said.
Addressing the Tory controlled City Council, in the Town Hall Chamber, Cllr Darren Fower said:
“So here we are, budget time again!
“And bless, the Tories are doing their best for the people of Peterborough! You know that? ……. For example:
- It’s not their fault that they had their Government Grant reduced!
- It’s also, not their fault that they’ve proposed closure of children’s centres across the city!
- It’s not their fault that they’ve spent millions of pounds on Cathedral Square!
- It’s not their fault that they put tax payers money into the Icelandic Banks fiasco!
- It’s not their fault that they overpaid by millions for the POSH ground!
- It’s not their fault that they continue to pay themselves extra salaries, through their self titled Special Responsibility Allowances, to the tune of nearly £250k a year!
- It’s not their fault their fault that the spent £175,000 of local tax payer’s money on installing a bus lane on the Town Bridge, only to backtrack weeks later and remove it completely!
- It’s not their fault that they’re brown bin recycling scheme failed miserably and now they expect you to pay to rectify the error!
- It’s not their fault that they cut the local link bus services that were essential to many members of the community I represent and across the whole city!
- It’s not their fault that they spent millions of pounds on expensive consultants to either take the heat for their mistakes or to advise them on how they should be doing their jobs!
- It’s not their fault that they sold off the Council House stock, the Secondary Schools, the Museum and various council services, plus openly supported the local hospitals disastrous PFI project!
- And of course, it’s not their fault they wasted money on members websites, built a roundabout, outside the Burghley Square Club that cost tens of thousands of £’s – that ended up being too big for buses to manoeuvre around, spent thousands of pounds on awarding themselves Blackberry handheld computers, only to end up using Apple devices, blasted £250,000, £15k over original estimates, on bringing the city centre car park toilet up to scratch, wasted £40k looking into having a casino in the city. ……………. I could of course go on!
“When you start to look at it, you can understand why people in Peterborough are now asking what it is they actually do take responsibility for?
“I must of course be fair, I am a Liberal Democrat after all, there have been a few occasions when the Tories have listened to our group! For example, after several years, they’ve finally scrapped their propaganda sheet YOUR Peterborough, or as near as dammit, one of our groups local policies, but only after spending hundreds of thousands on it!
“But let us get back to this years budget, and before Cllr Seaton explodes with rhetoric, if money is so tight, why are we not seriously looking at selling the Town Hall, that will be replaced in years to come anyhow, and costs an exuberant amount every year to maintain, why doesn’t this Council work harder to encourage more people to use alternative modes of transport that would reduce road the annual cost of road maintenance and dare I say, why is this Tory controlled administration not working to encourage the highest paid council officers to actually live in the city that they benefit from so handsomely from?
“PS – YOU could also look at getting rid of that Mayors car, and make use of one of the local Taxi firms?
“In conclusion, let me be clear, I for one will be voting against this budget, because its priorities are wrong, they intend to continue their inability to generate their own funds, instead preferring to waste the money of others and that they remain determined to cut basic services which our residents most need. This budget, is like all Tory policy in Peterborough in recent years, full of weak short term solutions to long term problems of their own making!”
REMEMBER if you would like to comment on the speech please post a comment below!