Tory policy vacuum stops powers being passed back to people

Peterborough City Centre

Should YOU have more say on YOUR local area?

A radical decentralisation of power to local communities is one possible answer to Peterborough City Council’s mounting budget crisis, says Lib Dem group leader Cllr Nick Sandford.

The Council has to make savings of £22 million on its budget next year.

The Government is encouraging Councils to give power back to local communities and give them responsibility for local spending decisions. Parish and community councils are not subject to Government budget capping and can raise money for local services through precepts on the Council tax.

After attending a meeting (in private) at the Town Hall to discuss budget savings, Nick said:

“The Tory administration says they are going to consult more about the budget this year and there have been a number of cross party meetings. But I see no evidence that they are considering truly radical solutions. Lib Dems believe there is massive potential for savings on less essential services such as grass cutting to reduce the need for savings in more essential areas sucn as adult social care.

“But why not be really radical and give parish councils and local communities the option of taking on management of small local parks and greenspaces? The Council has accepted a Government grant to help create more urban parish councils but the Tory cabinet has admitted it has no strategy for giving parish councils any more powers. Yet again we see a lack of vision and a gaping policy vacuum at the heart of Peterborough City Council. With the scale of the budget challenges we face, this simply is not good enough.”