The Cereste Shuffle

shuffle08:22 Thursday 23rd May 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Well the Leader of Peterborough City Council has reshuffled his Cabinet team, following an extraordinary two weeks at the Town Hall. Marco Cereste will work without a Deputy, following a failed Leadership challenge earlier this month by his then Deputy Matthew Lee. Cllr Lee has been dropped from the Cabinet, along with disgraced Cllr Peter Hiller, who was recently convicted of causing criminal damage. Elsewhere, Cllr Gavin Elsey has been moved to the position of Culture, Recreation and Waste Management, and Cllr Nigel North moves to Environment Capital and Neighbourhoods, while Cllr Irene Walsh adds responsibility for Public Health and Communications to her Community Cohesion and Safety brief, and Cllr Matthew Dalton has left the Cabinet for family reasons. Well we can now speak to the man himself, Marco Cereste. Morning Marco.
MARCO CERESTE: Good morning Paul. You OK?
PAUL STAINTON: Yes I’m good, thank you. Very very good. memories of wrestling flooding through my mind this morning.
MARCO CERESTE: Oh well you see I’m old enough to remember all of that. It used to be great. You should have seen my grandma when they were wrestling. (HE LAUGHS)
PAUL STAINTON: Was she the one with the handbag?
MARCO CERESTE: She was in the ring with them. You should have seen it. It was great fun.
PAUL STAINTON: Anyway, you’ve had a bit of a wrestle with your new Cabinet, haven’t you? Two falls and a submission for Matthew Lee. Continue reading “The Cereste Shuffle”

Lee Hammered In Peterborough Leadership Challenge

marco07:15 Wednesday 8th May 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[R]ONNIE BARBOUR: The Leader of the City Council in Peterborough has survived a challenge for his position from his own Deputy. Marco Cereste won the vote to be Leader of the Conservative Group last night, beating Matthew Lee. Johnny D. has more for us. Morning to you Johnny. (OB)
JOHN DEVINE: Good morning Ronnie. Yes. Good morning everybody. I’m outside Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street Ronnie, which last night was the scene of another dramatic night in Cambridgeshire politics. Just days after the King of Cambridgeshire Nick Clarke was dethroned in the elections, there was a chance that the Peterborough Leader was going to meet a similar fate Ronnie. Every year the Conservatives in Peterborough have their annual group meeting, and the councillors within that group have the opportunity to stand for certain positions. Last week the current Deputy Matthew Lee shocked us all by announcing he’ll be taking on Marco in the Leadership vote. But in the end the Tory group stood behind their Leader and gave him a huge vote of confidence, voting in favour of him by twenty four votes to eight, which is quite a big margin.
RONNIE BARBOUR: This type of Leadership challenge, has it happened before Johnny? Continue reading “Lee Hammered In Peterborough Leadership Challenge”

The Subversion Of Local Democracy

peterborough_town_hallMonday 4th February 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[L]OUISE NEIL: A Peterborough councillor is planning to write to the Prime Minister to ask why the city needs 57 councillors. Charlie Swift says the outsourcing of services has left him feeling pointless. Katie Prickett reports:
KATIE PRICKETT: Traditionally local services were provided directly by local councils, but in recent years housing, libraries, care and bin collections have all been outsourced. And more and more schools are becoming independent of local government control. Peterborough City councillor Charlie Swift says it’s left him unable to intervene if somebody has a problem, and feeling as if there’s no place for a councillor. So he’s planning to write to David Cameron to ask why there are so many councillors, and what their role actually is now.
Continue reading “The Subversion Of Local Democracy”

Viridor Peterborough Waste Incinerator Plans Raise Infant Mortality Fears

07:07 Thursday 30th August 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

ANDY GALL: Peterborough will be getting a multi-million pound incinerator to deal with waste in the city. That’s despite concerns from opposition councillors and local environmental groups. A special meeting was held last night with a coalition of councillors (who) weren’t happy when the City Council announced the waste management company Viridor as to be the preferred bidder. Now David Harrington is the leader of Peterborough Independent Forum and we can speak to him now. Now you’re one of the councillors to call in the decision. Why did you do that? Continue reading “Viridor Peterborough Waste Incinerator Plans Raise Infant Mortality Fears”

Matthew Lee Selects £75 Million Incinerator

07:06 Monday 13th August 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

ANDY GALL: A multi-million pound energy from waste facility for Peterborough is now a step closer. Peterborough City Council has named waste management company Viridor as its preferred bidder. The Council says that 50 tons of black bin waste is being sent to landfill, and the new plant will burn the rubbish, reducing the amount sent to landfill. Richard Olive is from Friends of the Earth in Peterborough, and Fiona Radic is from the Green Party, and we can speak to them now. So first of all, to Richard, what do you think of the plans that have been put forward?
RICHARD OLIVE: It’s diabolical. Continue reading “Matthew Lee Selects £75 Million Incinerator”

Hard Fi Festival Fiasco – Massive Inquiry Planned

08:18 Monday 9th July 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Many of you contacted us about the Peterborough Festival, the Finale of which fell victim to the bad weather this weekend. Thousands of you expecting to see Hard Fi playing in Central Park. But disappointment after torrential downpours, when Vivacity decided to put a stop to the festivities. A small scale street theatre performance was held yesterday on Bridge Street. It was an unfortunate way to end what would have been a great event. Wonderful stuff booked in. And it looked like it was only going to get better on Saturday. Criticism of how Council officials communicated with each other and the public, the way Vivacity and Enterprise perhaps worked together with the Council in the run up to the Festival. We saw a bit of confusion all round, and we spoke to Cllr Yvonne Lowndes earlier, who said the show should have gone on, should have carried on.
YVONNE LOWNDES: They could have cordoned off the areas with a lot of the mud, and everything could have gone ahead. In hindsight, yesterday it was quite dry, and we could have had continued the Festival. And there are lots and lots of disappointed people. And I was talking to them. Some people yesterday came all the way from Lincoln, thinking they were going to see the orchestra last night. And of course they were very disappointed.
PAUL STAINTON: Well Deputy Leader of the Peterborough City Council Matthew Lee is here now. Morning Matthew.
MATTHEW LEE: Good morning.
PAUL STAINTON: Before I get into the weekend, can I take you back to the planning of this, last week, and the fact that .. this is how I read it last week .. there was an application to increase the capacity of Central Park to 15,000 at the last minute, which seemed like some sort of panic act by Enterprise. You, according to Cllr John Peach, knew nothing about this. And then at the last minute you slapped it down and said 5,000 would be enough. Have I read it right? Continue reading “Hard Fi Festival Fiasco – Massive Inquiry Planned”

Your Job – To Take The Blame When Things Go Wrong

07:20 Wednesday 23rd May 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: A new department has been created by Peterborough City Council to liaise with the organisation responsible for the services that we’ve outsourced. I know it’s confusing, but we’ll sort it out in a minute. Four new positions have been advertised, but they could cost you about 140 grand a year. Do we need another layer of bureaucracy? Or is it necessary for all the city’s services to run like a well-oiled machine, that we need to emply people to put the oil on? Let’s get the opinion of Liberal Democrat councillor Darren Fower. .. So, as I understand it, we’re creating a department for services that we don’t run anymore.
DARREN FOWER: That’s basically it, isn’t it? I think this is a massive indicator to show that the decision by this administration in regards to flogging off the important services to the private organisations isn’t working out. And this is going to be a massive kick in the teeth to the hundreds of council workers who’ve lost their jobs in recent years, and also to some of those who’ve been transferred to these organisations who I understand are having a bit of a torrid time.
PAUL STAINTON: I’m pleased to say that with me in the studio is councillor Matthew Dalton, the Cabinet Member for Communications. .. We’re creating a department to look after things that we don’t run any more. You can understand why some people might be a bit taken aback by that.
MATTHEW DALTON: Well I can understand why Darren thinks that this is an easy hit on the administration. It sound something nice, you can come on the radio ..
PAUL STAINTON: No. I’m confused. Me too. Continue reading “Your Job – To Take The Blame When Things Go Wrong”

Peterborough Conservatives Up in Arms Over Council Cuts and Rate Rise

08:15 Monday 23rd January 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

BBC PAUL STAINTON: Lollipop ladies .. it’s caused an absolute furore, and your proposals to get rid of lollipop patrols across the city, in particular in places where it’s incredibly dangerous to cross the road. I’m thinking Newark Hill Primary, I’m thinking Eastfield Road, with cars whizzing up and down there. The first time a child gets knocked down, it’s on your heads, isn’t it, as councillors? Are you going to row back from that now? Is the Council going to see sense on that?
DEPUTY LEADER CLLR MATTHEW LEE: These proposals are all out for consultation ..
BBC PAUL STAINTON: But who came up with that idea?
DEPUTY LEADER CLLR MATTHEW LEE: What we did last year was we put forward a number of proposals. We listened to what the public said, and where we could maek changes we did make changes.
BBC PAUL STAINTON: Do you expect that to go through? Do you expect that to be a proposal that actually gets through? Continue reading “Peterborough Conservatives Up in Arms Over Council Cuts and Rate Rise”