Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich: Regeneration is such a hot topic

Cllr John Holdich

Cllr John Holdich

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Regeneration was obviously a key topic this week with the council’s planning committee approving both the Queensgate and North Westgate applications.

I have promised, both privately and publically, to the developers Hawksworth that I am committed to the regeneration of North Westgate and I have arranged a meeting with them to discuss the future of this important city centre site.

And if you’re after a room with a view then it’s worth a look at the new £4.3million Hereward Tower development in the city centre.

I went to visit some of the new apartments that have been built in the former Inland Revenue building. The apartments which will be ready early next year are another great example of the huge levels of private investment coming into the city.

Late last week I fished out my wellies from the back of the cupboard and went to visit some of our tenant farmers along with the council’s Chief Executive, Gillian Beasley.

The council owns just over 3,000 acres (or if you prefer 1,217 hectares) of arable farmland in Newborough, Thorney and Fengate.

I want to re-build the relationship with our tenant farmers following the council’s efforts to construct a large solar park on some of the farmland we own. So we went to speak to them about a new action plan we’re developing to kick-start a long-term strategy for the city’s farm estates.

Currently a working group comprised of officers, members of the Peterborough City Farm Tenants Association and councillors are working on this before bringing it to Cabinet.

The strategy will look to modernise the estate, provide opportunities for new entrants to farming and improve the link between our rural communities and the city.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable visit, not only because they took us both to the local pub, but we went out to see what they were growing; including fields and fields of potatoes which had been left in the ground so they can toughen up and form the hard skin needed for the perfect jacket spud.

I read with interest in the PT last week about three landlords being fined a total of almost £20,000 for failing to improve properties that they were renting out to tenants.

Residents had been left to live in homes covered in mould with exposed electrics.

So thank you to our officers who issued over 100 enforcement notices to landlords to improve their properties last year – and we took eight to court who didn’t carry out the work. On this note work is progressing ahead of the new selective licensing consultation.

If I can do it then so can you! On Monday (5 October) it’s the deadline for entries for this year’s Perkins Great Eastern Run. My running days are behind me but I will be walking the 5km Anna’s Hope fun run course along with my wife Barbara.

So visit www.perkinsgreateasternrun.co.uk and be a last minute sign-up to the race on Sunday October 11.

And while you’re online don’t forget to book your tickets to one of the West End shows that are coming to the Broadway Theatre from next month at www.thebroadwaypeterborough.co.uk or call 01733 822225. The box office at the theatre opens its doors to the public on Monday.