Can we afford having the Conservatives run Peterborough Council again?

26 Apr 2024
Cllr Christian Hogg

Locally decades of Conservative failure in Peterborough have led to missed opportunities, terrible decision making and millions wasted while our services were slashed and Council Tax rocketed.

For too long they have let down local people by taking us for granted and only turning up at election time when they want our votes. Time and time again they have wasted our money, broken election promises and spent more time and energy on Tory infighting than on their local areas.

Recently we have seen a £15m loan for building the Hilton Hotel, a deal they promised would make the council £500,000, turn into a liability that now needs a further £15m to finish, with little prospect for making a profit in the short term, only the opportunity to reduce our current eye-watering loss. The current cost of servicing this debt is taking valuable funds away from us to deliver better services to our residents. 

We also saw the deal that bought the council’s Sand Martin House in order to extract us from a lease that had no break clause, but a lease cost that ramped up over time. Whilst the cost of borrowing was well below the rent we had been paying, it did mean us paying way over the market value for the building in the tens of millions. Yet they will say they are the only party that has the skill and experience to run our council.

In previous years we have heard election promises from the Conservatives to replace our Regional Pool, and yet we see no plans in place to do this and the Pool has now been closed due to it being unsafe and not economically viable to repair. 

Peterborough Regional Pool
Hilton Gardens Hotel
Sand Martin House
Only lasted a couple of months

They also promised free bulky waste collections across the city, apparently fully costed and in the budget, and yet it took six months to get going and then ran out of funding a short couple of months later, never to return. I hear they are promising a return to this policy again this year. Fool me once….

Finally, the Conservative council group is in disarray having suffered 9 councillors jumping ship to go independent and a further 4 deciding not to seek reelection this year and walk away. With some high-profile disagreements in the local media between the current Conservative leader Wayne Fitzgerald and the previous leader John Holdich, it would seem that the infighting hasn’t stopped. It would seem they require counselling rather than running a council. What skill and experience the group once had has left leaving only a few remaining.

Residents are saying enough is enough. They are fed up with being taken for granted and having to pay the price of incompetent decisions by those who at the time were leading our city.

Thankfully the Conservatives no longer run Peterborough City Council, but they have left behind nearly £500 million of debt that we will be repaying for decades to come.

The only way to ensure the Conservatives do not get back in is to stop voting for them. I would clearly like for your vote to go to our hard-working Liberal Democrat candidates. But please at least think long and hard about who you want to see running your council. Remember it’s your money they will be spending.

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