Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich: City thrust into the spotlight

Cllr John Holdich

Cllr John Holdich

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I receive dozens of emails every week from residents – one of the most common topics is anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the city centre.

I’ve written in the past that we are in the process of 
getting extra powers for 
council officers so we can enforce against a much wider range of ASB than we can 
currently.

Expect more on this in the coming weeks.

For a number of years, the council, police and SaferPeterborough Partnership have also been working with Immigration Enforcement (formerly the UK Border Agency) to repatriate migrants if they become homeless and can’t afford to get back home.

In the last five months, the SaferPeterborough Partnership has worked to repatriate some of those that are sleeping rough and causing considerable ASB. In total four are 
now back in their home countries.

Peterborough was catapulted into the global spotlight last week after we were named World Smart City of the Year 2015. Beating the likes of Moscow and Dubai (pictured).

Congratulations must go to the team behind the Peterborough DNA Smart City project which is delivered by the council and Opportunity Peterborough. The judging panel was particularly impressed by the city’s commitment to the environment.

The Smart City project focuses on growth, innovation, skills and sustainability, and aims to make Peterborough a better place to invest, work and live.

Cities are facing some big challenges such as higher populations, increasing amounts of rubbish and higher energy bills. T

he DNA project looks at smarter ways to deal with these issues effectively.

Well if you think that’s smart – what about if I told you that we are trialing new litter bins that tell us when they’re full.

We have two at the moment – one in the city centre and one in Glinton. When you put your rubbish in the bin it’s compacted down and then the bin wirelessly transmits a signal to our bins crews when it’s ready to be emptied. The bins are solar-powered and they even work in the winter – don’t worry I’ve already asked!

This is another example of innovation helping us to reduce our costs – by cutting down on the number of times the bin needs to be emptied. This could be especially important for rural locations as the one in Glinton hasn’t been emptied since the beginning of November and it’s still got room for more rubbish.

I mentioned in my column last week that we now sell many council services to other local authorities to generate income; in order to support frontline services for our residents.

We can do this because we have top-class officers. This week our lawyers won legal team of the year at the Lawyers in Local Government Awards. Well done to the team – and you may remember it’s only been a few months since our planning team was also voted the best in the country.

And finally I will be attending the grand opening of the city’s newest eatery on Friday night – Bashoh Restaurant. It’s based on Broadway (where Imperial Bento used to be) 
and will be serving Indian cuisine influenced by the British Raj.

I wish them the very best of luck for their opening and I’m sure it’ll be another great addition to the city.