Cambridgeshire Police Commissioner candidate warns of incipient privatisation

private_police10:24 Monday 1st February 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: We’re also talking anti-social behaviour. Many of you getting in touch today with your stories. We heard from John earlier. Les from Cambridge says “After nine months of stone-throwing against my window amongst other things my support worker organised mediation. Any way, I think we need to join up the thinking between unemployment, anti-social behaviour and immigration.” says Les from Cambridge. Obviously I haven’t seen any studies that do link those, but maybe there is something there says Les in Cambridge. But if anti-social behaviour is making your life a misery we’d like to hear from you this morning. And how do you think we should stop it? We heard about the Arbury Estate in Cambridge earlier, where residents say drug use and poor driving were causing problems. Well now a row has broken out in Peterborough about how the city there should tackle anti-social behaviour. Some councillors say they want council staff to be able to tackle anti-social behaviour, which includes aggressive begging. But others are concerned about the scheme and want it thrown out. One of them who wants it thrown out is Labour councillor Ed Murphy. Ed, morning.
ED MURPHY: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: What’s wrong with it, on the face of it, tackling anti-social behaviour?
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Peterborough District Hospital – proposed development ‘a complete mess’

pdh_demolition07:08 Thursday 2nd July 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: Our top story for Cambridgeshire this morning, “It’s too slow and it’s too messy.” That’s the verdict of some people in Peterborough on the work going on at the old District Hospital site off Thorpe Road. It’s been just under a year since it was announced the old PDH site would be turned into 350 new homes and a brand new primary school. Twelve months on, and many people not too happy with the progress. Our reporter Sophia Alipour has been speaking to some of them outside the old hospital remains.
PUBLIC ONE: It looks disgusting.
PUBLIC TWO: Yes it’s horrible from the outside.
SOPHIA ALIPOUR: What would you like to see built here instead?
PUBLIC ONE: Something nice to look at. Not something ugly. Maybe a homeless shelter, ‘cos I think homeless people live there.
PUBLIC TWO: Something like flats or houses, which is what it was meant to be.
SOPHIA ALIPOUR: Could I ask you to describe what the front of the old hospital currently looks like?
PUBLIC THREE: Half falling down and derelict.
PUBLIC FOUR: I’m surprised they haven’t done much more than they have.
PUBLIC FIVE: We work opposite the building. There was a little bit of noise a couple of weeks ago, but that’s been it. A slow process.
PUBLIC SIX: A mess. A complete mess. I wish they would get on with it.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Well Peterborough’s MP Stewart Jackson has told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire he’s happy with progress at the site, despite work apparently slowing down around the General Election. But Peterborough City councillor Ed Murphy has expressed his concerns, and he joins me now. So what do you think to the progress there Ed?
ED MURPHY: I’m not too concerned about the progress, which has been very shortcoming. The Hospital has now been there for fifty years. I’m looking at it at the moment. It’s still up, and it’s going to take some time to take it down, because it’s going to be quite a feat to take it down. What I’m concerned about is the current plans. The school hasn’t got adequate play facilities for the children, and they need to extend the site. And I think the developers are probably going to come in and try and go up more stories than they really should. So I’m hoping that the City Council do their utmost to ensure that development benefits local people, not just the bottom line profits of the developers.
DOTTY MCLEOD: So I was looking at this site on Google Maps last night, because when you drive past on Thorpe Road you might glance to your left, but you don’t always get a proper look, do you? And what surprised me was actually the size of this site, because 23 acres, it sounds quite big, but when you factor in a primary school, presumably some houses having gardens, car parking as well, maybe it’s not actually that big for 350 homes.
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Council elects old school Tory Leader

07:19 Thursday 21st May 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: John Holdich is the Leader, the new Leader, of Peterborough City Council. The long-serving Conservative councillor for Glinton and Wittering has been appointed unopposed. He’ll replace Marco Cereste who lost his Stanground seat in the recent local elections. Our political reporter Hannah Olsson was at Peterborough Town Hall for last night’s meeting.
HANNAH OLSSON: The General Election may have surprised pollsters and parties alike, but this evening in Peterborough Town Hall everything went as predicted. Conservative John Peach is the new Mayor, and Conservative John Holdich is the new Leader of Peterborough City Council. We were expecting a nomination from the Labour Group, but it didn’t come, so John Holdich was elected unopposed. The councillors nominating him described him as Peterborough through and through, a team player qualified and respected pair of hands. He said it was time for a clean slate, and he would do his best to represent the people of Peterborough. The only drama of the evening came as the new Leader began announcing the Cabinet members. Two members of the Labour Party Ed Murphy and Jo Johnson walked out of the Council chamber. Ed Murphy at one point was asking for nomination to run a cross-party Cabinet. I asked both Ed and Jo why they left the chamber.
JO JOHNSON: The Labour Group and followers of the Labour Group whip, because we were going to put a position up, and we didn’t do it.
HANNAH OLSSON: That came as a surprise to you?
JO JOHNSON: Yes it did. We weren’t told. We had a pre-meeting before and we weren’t told that there was no opposition.
HANNAH OLSSON: The Leader of the Labour Party Mohammed Jamil told me that simply, things had changed.
MOHAMMED JAMIL: The support I’d been promised, or I thought I had the support, prior to this meeting certain group members came to me and said look I’m sorry we’re not supporting you. Now I felt I could go ahead with this, or I could try and work with John Holdich to secure a better deal.
HANNAH OLSSON: So it may be a new era for Peterborough City Council, but it seems the drama continues.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Hannah Olsson there reporting from the annual Council meeting in Peterborough last night. John Holdich the new Leader of Peterborough City Council joins me now. Morning John.
JOHN HOLDICH: Good morning Dotty.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Well congratulations. What is first on your list of to do tasks?
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One week on – the parties find their feet

talks17:39 Friday 15th May 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: They say a week is a long time in politics. Since the election results were announced last Friday we’ve had twists and turns, ups and downs, from all of the political parties. And our political reporter Hannah Olsson has been trying to keep up. She joins me in the studio now. It’s been quite a week, and today, well, the drama of the Labour leadership contest took another strange turn.
HANNAH OLSSON: It certainly did. Now since Ed Miliband announced he was resigning as Labour Party Leader after to his party’s disappointing defeat in the General Election last week, contenders have been throwing their hats in the ring. We’ve had Chuka Umunna, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Mary Creagh, all saying they wanted to enter the race. But then today Chuka Umunna surprised us all by announcing he was withdrawing. The reason he gave in a statement was that he wasn’t comfortable with the level of pressure and scrutiny that came with being a Leadership candidate. Now Chuka Umunna is a polished media performer, and was seen as a real contender for the job, so the announcement will come as a big shock for many people within the Labour Party. But former labour Leader Lord Kinnock says he has probably done the right thing.
LORD KINNOCK: If he felt in his soul that he wasn’t prepared to subject himself, and more importantly his family, to the kind of attention which is fairly typical sadly these days, he has done absolutely the right thing. There’s no point at all in inflicting avoidable unnecessary misery on those that you love most.
HANNAH OLSSON: Candidates must secure nominations from 34 colleagues, that’s roughly 15% of the Labour party’s MPs, by 15th June, to make it onto those ballot papers. So we may see more twists and turns in the race before then.
CHRIS MANN: Let’s move on to talk about UKIP. Yesterday I spoke to Patrick O’Flynn, who had very publicly criticised the party’s Leader Nigel Farage, calling him ‘thin skinned and aggressive’. Has there been more reaction to that?
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Police predict rising crime figures

street_crime08:09 Friday 24th April 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: “I don’t feel safe anymore.” Those are the words of a disabled Peterborough veteran as he comes to terms with being the victim of a horrific attack. It comes as the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show there’s been a sharp rise in violent and sexual crime in Cambridgeshire. The number of violent crimes is up 45% from last year. Sexual offences are up 53%. And robbery is up 30%. .. Let’s talk to Ed Murphy. Ed, you’re a Peterborough Labour councillor. You’re also a former candidate for Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner role. Good morning.
ED MURPHY: Good morning.
DOTTY MCLEOD: So we’ve heard from the Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright. In a statement he says that these crimes figures are up because people are reporting more crimes. Do you agree?
ED MURPHY: No. He’s actually lying through his back teeth once again on this one. He’s in denial. Three months ago I was talking to your listeners about rising violent crime, particularly in the Peterborough area. We’d had four muggings, including Richard, and he’s just in complete denial. Your figures that you quoted from the Office for National Statistics are really alarming. In Cambridgeshire violence against the person that year up 45%. If you look at another comparable police force, the Police Service in Derbyshire, it went up by 4%.
DOTTY MCLEOD: So what do you think is driving the rises then Ed?
ED MURPHY: What’s driving it is a cut in the number of police officers and waste. I’ve calculated about £7 million on Graham Bright’s office since he came in. Cambridgeshire is the fastest growing county in the country. We need more police officers, not less police officers. And we need to tackle this so people like Richard can feel safe in going out in their own town they live in. It’s absolutely disgraceful that too many people don’t feel safe and secure in their own towns and villages throughout Cambridgeshire. And quite frankly, for police officers to be put on by Graham Bright who’s afraid to come on the radio, and try and make out it’s because more people are reporting crime, is a nonsense. Your listeners have tried ringing 101 and reporting crime. They know it’s a lie.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Well let’s talk now to Chief Superintendent DanVajzovic who’s the Head of Territorial Policing at Cambridgeshire Police. Dan, thanks for coming on this morning. You heard there Ed Murphy saying it is a disgrace that people in Cambridgeshire are afraid to leave their homes at night. Do you agree?
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LibDem Sandford backs Cereste’s solar ambitions

pickles07:12 Wednesday 6th August 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: A working group of Peterborough councillors has met once again to discuss the financial risks of a proposed solar farm in the city. The cross-party group had previously pooh poohed the scheme, saying the risks were too high, and too much public money had been invested already. But fellow councillors deemed their report as light on detail, hence why they’ve been asked to meet again. Meanwhile Cambridgeshire County Council has submitted its own plans for a 50,000 solar panel farm near Soham. Well let’s speak to Nick Sandford. He’s the Leader of Peterborough LibDems, and on the working group looking into whether the expense of a huge solar farm at America Farm near Peterborough might be worth it. Nick, good morning.
NICK SANDFORD: Morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: Why are you having to meet again?
NICK SANDFORD: Well I wasn’t actually at the original meeting that took place, but I was actually at the Scrutiny Meeting when they presented their report, and they were recommending that the project be discontinued..
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Ed Murphy 2014 Budget Scrutiny

08:26 Tuesday 11th February 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Opposition councillors in Peterborough have spoken out at plans to cut services there. The authority has outlined plans for next year’s budget. We’ve talked about it many times. It includes cutting back on the money it gives to Children’s Centres and many other services. Labour councillor Ed Murphy was at the Council meeting last night. Ed, quite a heated debate was had over some of these cuts, wasn’t it?
ED MURPHY: Yes, it turned into an extremely interesting meeting. It wasn’t just the opposition councillors. Conservative councillors were questioning their budget as well. They were doing scrutiny. It was quite a good meeting, councillors doing their job for a change.
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Ed Murphy On The Hospital Site

political_developments07:25 Thursday 30th January 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[P]AUL STAINTON: Now, people of Peterborough, you’ve got your first glimpse of the plans to develop the old PDH site on Thorpe Road. It’s looked like a bit of an eye-sore the last couple of years. That big old bit of land on the left hand side as you drive into the city. The fences have been up, the windows have been smashed, the weeds have grown 65 foot tall. So what are we going to get in place of that? Well a public display of the developer’s initial plans for the site was held yesterday at the Great Northern Hotel. Labour city councillor for Ravensthorpe Ed Murphy was there. Ed, morning.
ED MURPHY: Good morning.
PAUL STAINTON: Were you excited by the plans for what has essentially been a bit of an eye-sore for the last two or three years? Was it something that excited you Ed? You went to the Great Northern yesterday Ed. What did you make of what you saw? Continue reading “Ed Murphy On The Hospital Site”