It’s your vote:make sure you use it

Cllr John Holdich
Cllr John Holdich
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Have your say

Folk sometimes complain about issues they think they can’t affect; like what their MP does (or doesn’t do), how the Government of the day performs or how their local council is run and by who.

When I hear comments like these I always remind those complaining that, actually, they can do something very fundamental about what they believe and support – vote for it!

This simple act defines a modern democracy and is the most effective way of bringing about change. Over 100 years ago a lady called Emily Davison died promoting her belief that women at the time should have, alongside other equalities, the right to vote.

As one of Emmeline Pankhurst’s suffragettes, Ms Davison did indeed suffer for her cause, in and out of prison. She and her companions never gave up in their fight for women’s equal rights, against the face of public hostility and ostracising, but eventually their war was won and our modern democracy was the winner – I’ll vote for that.

Last week the council’s well-respected cross-party Planning and Environmental Protection Committee unanimously voted to approve the development of the moribund John Mansfield School area in Dogsthorpe, and allow Cross Keys Homes to build a mix of over 200 houses, flats and bungalows. Much-needed new homes for hard-working families to create a community where they can live, play and enjoy a pleasant way of life for years to come. The two separate applications for the area were discussed and examined by committee members, who were keen to see the layout of the developments’ infrastructure, the type of housing and a healthy number of affordable homes provided.

As leader of this council I am acutely aware of the need for more homes in our city and I look upon applications like these as, literally, the building bricks for the task ahead of us and welcome the committee’s properly considered decision.

If you want to find out how Healthwatch Peterborough has been making a difference over the past year and about our recent merger with Healthwatch Cambridgeshire, come along to its Annual Conference, which will be held on Thursday 8th June at The ICA (Fleet), Fleet Way, Peterborough, PE2 8DL from 9.30am-12.30pm. Booking is preferred but not essential.

If you represent an organisation and want a stand at the event, please let them know in advance. You are also welcome to submit questions in advance to ask at the conference. To do any of these you can reach them at info@healthwatchpeterborough.co.uk or by calling 01480 420628.

Finally, it’s with some sadness that, after eight years in the post, we see the retirement of John Bridge OBE DL as chairman of Opportunity Peterborough, the council’s wholly-owned economic development company. John, who has been a board member since 2006, has worked tirelessly in his role as chairman and has been instrumental in leading the company’s success during that time.

Opportunity Peterborough’s key achievements during John’s chairmanship include the completion of Cathedral Square as a restaurant and civic destination, major inward investment campaigns, the launch of the Opportunity Peterborough’s Skills Service, and Peterborough becoming World Smart City in 2015. On behalf of the OP board and the city, I would like to thank John for his hard work, loyalty and commitment and I’m sure he will continue to support us in our drive to grow the city’s economy.

In last week’s newspaper, there was an article about the hydrotherapy pool and the headline “Hydrotherapy Pool may not open again”. I received quite a few calls and emails from residents who need and value the pool, who were very concerned that it might not reopen. I would therefore like to reassure these people that we are looking for solutions to fix the problem and reopen the pool as soon as possible.