Cambridgeshire councils freeze council tax

East Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire District Councils pledge no rate rise..

purse09:23 Thursday 7th January 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: In town halls right across the county councillors will be putting the finishing touches to their budgets for the next year, including having to make a decision on whether or not they should increase their council tax too. Many are predicting that record numbers of councils will increase their tax, because the Government has withdrawn the incentive to freeze council tax. So they could put it up by up to 4%, just under 4%. So add that to the other two bits (police and fire precepts) and your bill could go up by over 6%. I’m pleased to say that councils are ringing us left right and centre this morning to tell us exactly what they’re doing. Bill Hunt the Conservative councillor in East Cambridgeshire, morning Bill.
BILL HUNT: Good morning to you.
PAUL STAINTON: What’s going on in East Cambs Bill?
BILL HUNT: Well we listened to the people. We’re cutting bureaucracy and we’re retaining our free car parking. And we’re not putting council tax up this year.
PAUL STAINTON: That’s a definite.
BILL HUNT: It’s the East Cambs element of course as you say. Other people might, the County Council and the fire services. But East Cambs will not. We’re confirmed. We didn’t do it last year. We think that people who go to work are paying more than enough tax already. And we’re looking at slimming down our council and having a can-do attitude, and delivering what the people want.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. How are you making ends meet though?
BILL HUNT: Well cutting out bureaucracy.
PAUL STAINTON: People say that. That’s a trite phrase, isn’t it? What does that mean?
BILL HUNT: We’ve done away with one tier of management, and we’ve encouraged youngsters to come up, with their new enthusiasm. And we’ve changed the management structure.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes but no good if the County Council stick 4% on, eh?
BILL HUNT: Well, you know, we in East Cambs., we’re doing our bit for East Cambs.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. You’re doing what you can do Bill is what you’re saying, isn’t it?
BILL HUNT: Yes. And we’re the only city in East Anglia without car parking charges in the centre.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. Apart from Fenland of course.
BILL HUNT: Pardon?
PAUL STAINTON: Fenland is free as well.
BILL HUNT: Yes I’m talking about a city. Ely is a city.
PAUL STAINTON: Oh. No. Apologies. I’m there. I’m there Bill. I’m there Bill.
BILL HUNT: The only city in East Anglia without charges.
PAUL STAINTON: You’ve planted that flag for East Cambs. this morning Bill I think. You really have.
BILL HUNT: Well we’re doing the job. We’re asking the people what they want. We’re doing the best we can to do what they want, and we think they’re paying enough council tax as it is.
PAUL STAINTON: Well Bill, thank you for that. That’s Bill Hunt. He’s county councillor. There’ll be no increase from them on your council tax bills in and around Ely in that part of Cambridgeshire. But of course the County Council could still add their bit. Let’s move over to Huntingdon. Jason Ablewhite is the Leader of Hunts District Council of course. Morning Jason.
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Bedfordshire police force could become unviable says Commissioner

ollymartins09:51 Thursday 5th November 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: We’re also talking about policing, particularly in Cambridgeshire this morning, Olly Martins the Police and Crime Commissioner in Bedfordshire warning that his force could soon become unviable, and that we here in Cambridgeshire Police may have to merge or take over. Mr Martin is also threatening to switch on every speed camera and raise the council tax charge. So we’re asking this morning, merger a good idea? Ed Murphy who stood to be Police and Crime Commissioner in the last election in this county for Labour says it might have to happen. We may have to pay a bit more. And certainly Government should be paying a bit more. I’m pleased to say we can speak to the man who’s making waves this morning, Olly Martins from Bedfordshire, the Police and Crime Commissioner. Olly morning.
OLLY MARTINS: Hello there.
PAUL STAINTON: Easier to get you on than Sir Graham Bright. Thank you for coming on . Big ideas. A lot of talking. A lot of scaremongering?
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Police chief to retire within weeks

george_gently11:16 Tuesday 16th June 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Producer Ben has got some breaking news for us this morning. Morning Ben.
BENOIT STEVENSON: Yes Paul. A big announcement coming from the Cambridge Constabulary this morning. Simon Parr the Chief Constable of Cambridge Constabulary has today announced he is to retire at the end of July 2015. So this is the man in charge …
PAUL STAINTON: Next month.
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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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Sir Graham Bright on a steep rise in reported crimes in Cambridgeshire

graham_bright08:19 Friday 30th January 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: It’s a week after new data revealed a rise in crime figures for Cambridgeshire over the last year, and now Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is available to speak to us. The information was released by the Office for National Statistics. It shows sexual offences are up 55%, violent crime is up 44%, and violent crime resulting in injury is up 33%. Sir Graham Bright issued a statement at the time but has been too busy to schedule an interview, that is until today. Sir Graham, some people might say that in the light of these figures, which you can’t deny do sound alarming, sexual offences up, violent crime up, robberies up, you’re only here to talk about this more than a week afterwards. How do you explain that?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well first of all we need to try to understand those figures, and we are still working on just that. They are confusing, without any doubt, and we’ve got to sort of dig, dig underneath. I’m asking the police to give a full report on this to me, which will go to the Board, where we hold them obviously to account. And we hope to bring some more information out on that. There’s obviously, certainly with some of those figures, we were expecting an increase, because we’ve been encouraging people to report crime.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Excuse me Sir Graham. I’m just going to interrupt, and let’s go back to this delay of a week. I accept what you say, that sometimes you need a little bit of time to interpret figures, but a week? Isn’t it your job to come on the radio and reassure the public about figures like this?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well you went ahead so rapidly, and I was in a meeting elsewhere and couldn’t be with you. And then ..
DOTTY MCLEOD: We’re a news organisation. We can’t apologise for reporting the news quickly.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well you sometimes sort of try and jump in even before it happens. I hadn’t seen those stats at all, and it took us by surprise when they came out.
DOTTY MCLEOD: I don’t find that particularly reassuring, that the media were picking up on crime figures before the Police and Crime Commissioner.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well the Police and Crime Commissioner was elsewhere working. I’m not sitting looking at reports all the time.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Isn’t it your job though to be on top of figures like this? Continue reading “Sir Graham Bright on a steep rise in reported crimes in Cambridgeshire”

An interview with Sir Graham Bright Police and Crime Commissioner

pcc07:06 Friday 12th September 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

DOTTY MCLEOD: This week we’ve been focusing on how Cambridgeshire Police is adapting in the face of tough budget cuts. Today we go to the man who holds the purse-strings, and sets the objectives for the police force to follow. It’s nearly two years since Sir Graham Bright was elected as Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. It’s his job to hold the police to account, making them answerable to the public. Regular listeners to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire will know that we have had difficulty at times securing interviews with Sir Graham on air, but I’ve been to see him, and I have recorded an extended interview that we’ll be playing in two parts, the first one now, the second one in about an hour’s time. In Part One he speaks about how he has been able to influence policing policy in Cambridgeshire, and I asked him why he so rarely agreed to be interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Breakfast Show.
DOTTY MCLEOD: So going to start with something that we’ve just been touching on really, the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Turnout in the elections when you were elected was quite low. A year into the job we went out and asked people in Cambridgeshire whether they knew who you were and what you did, and what a PCC did. A lot of people didn’t. Is that a problem?
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Council dithering behind Peterborough’s traveller issue

08:08 Friday 1st August 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[P]AUL STAINTON: So is Peterborough getting neglected by Cambridgeshire’s police force? Well the city’s MP certainly thinks so. Stewart Jackson told this programme earlier that the Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright needs a kick up the backside, and a tougher stance when it comes to dealing with illegal camped travellers. Here are just some of Stewart’s comments.
STEWART JACKSON: I’m sorry. Graham Bright is paid over £90,000 a year. He needs a good kick up the backside. He very rarely comes to Peterborough. In fact he insults Peterborough by appointing what he calls an outreach worker, as if Peterborough’s a sort of special social case. He needs to come to Peterborough a bit more and talk to people that are affected by this issue.
PAUL STAINTON: Well the row started when Stewart Jackson criticised Peterborough City Council for not setting up a site for travellers to use. Now a Cross-Party group has been looking into the possible locations where sites could be erected. But after two years, no locations have been made public as yet, although an announcement could be made in the next few weeks. Stewart Jackson says his constituents don’t want more traveller sites. They just want the travellers evicted and punished. Well the man in charge of policing Peterborough Tony Ixer told me earlier that the police can’t evict travellers until they have somewhere to take them.
TONY IXER: We actually do have a very robust strategy across Cambridgeshire, but it is a fact that it doesn’t cover Peterborough. And the real reason it doesn’t cover Peterborough and hasn’t done for many years is because there are no designated stopping places.
PAUL STAINTON: So in short, nothing can be done in Peterborough until Peterborough City Council sort themselves out. Needless to say, Sir Graham Bright and Peterborough City Council refused to speak to this programme this morning, but we can speak to Independent councillor John Fox. He chaired the Working Group looking at sites for emergency stopping places in the city. The Group’s recommendations will be considered at the next Peterborough City Council Cabinet meeting. John, good morning.
JOHN FOX: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: So it’s your fault that we’re getting these illegal encampments. You’ve been too slow, dragging your feet.
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Sir Graham Bright Recruits Outreach Worker

reach_out08:20 Thursday 16th May 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: A new job has just come up to help tackle local crime and anti-social behaviour problems in Peterborough and The Fens. The position of Outreach Worker for the Police and Crime Commissioner is currently being advertised. Sir Graham Bright is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire of course. Morning Sir Graham
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Morning to you.
PAUL STAINTON: What exactly is this job?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well this job keeps us in touch with what concerns people. Legislation requires me to consult with the public, and to represent the public. Indeed, I always keep saying that I am the face of the public, not the police. Now you can only do that if you actually talk to people. But you can’t do this randomly. You need to be systematic. And I’m very concerned in getting down as low as I can, to parish councils, talking to schools, talking to businesses, talking to the voluntary organisations. And it’s a big area. When you look at the size of Cambridgeshire with Peterborough. And the idea is to reflect more on what people are concerned about, dealing with the issues.
PAUL STAINTON: So this job will be effectively doing your job in the North of the County. Is that right? Continue reading “Sir Graham Bright Recruits Outreach Worker”