Spring ushers in new look for city - Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich

John Holdich ENGEMN00120131211162123
John Holdich ENGEMN00120131211162123
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Peterborough is the UK’s fourth fastest growing city in the UK and we need to modernise our services, facilities and infrastructure to accommodate this, not least our pathways, roads and highways.

I am proud of the great work that has been going on in our city centre in recent years and months to regenerate areas including Cathedral Square, Cowgate, Bourges Boulevard and, most recently, Lower Bridge Street.

Plans to enhance the look of this busy area around Town Bridge and the magistrates’ court are really starting to take shape as Peterborough Highway Services’ construction team work on the comprehensive city centre refurbishment programme.

Spending time sat in traffic congestion is no one’s idea of fun and alleviating this is one factor behind the next phase of works which is at Bishop’s Road, extending from the entrance of the Wirrina car park up to the Rivergate roundabout.

We know this area attracts traffic congestion during peak hours so the work will help to improve this and make it a better and safer area to use for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

As with all large scale refurbishment programmes, we predict some short term inconvenience in this area but we hope people will bear with us for the longer term gains.

These Bishop’s Road works are entirely funded by a £1.3 million grant awarded by the Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership and are set for completion by the Autumn.

You may ask what we do with old materials once regeneration works start.

One beneficiary of the Lower Bridge Street project is Orton Park Cricket Club which is now in receipt of 300 of the old paving slabs removed from there.

The club is redeveloping its pavilion and an astute member of the club got in touch with the council to offer the old slabs a new home.

We are delighted that they will now be put to good use as the club’s new patio and wish members and cricket players many hours of enjoyment there.

Keeping our city safe and clean is no small task and many thanks to Amey and other council and emergency services staff who had their work cut out with the onslaught of Storm Doris.

Powerful 74 mile an hour winds hit the city last Thursday as reports of damage inundated the council’s call centre.

A major casualty of Doris were trees, with 50 either felled or damaged across the city as the storm took hold.

Where possible, the felled trees are logged and used for fuel by some charities through a community payback scheme, or they are chipped and the chippings used in Peterborough’s parks.

As we are now in the month of March our city-wide spring clean programme is only a few weeks away.

This is an annual investment of £100,000 to help tidy areas of the city regularly highlighted by residents for suffering from high volumes of littering, fly-tipping and graffiti.

Aside from last week’s extraordinary stormy weather, we can’t ignore the other damage to city parks we have seen recently.

Incidents of vandalism in city parks including Ferry Meadows, Central Park and Fletton Rec have been well publicised.

At Glinton Park, which is in my ward, there has been damage to benches and play equipment as well as to young trees.

The issue is widespread.

The council’s SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service are working with the police to tackle this spate of mindless vandalism. I would echo the police in saying that residents need to be the eyes and ears of the community and pass on any information so the culprit or culprits can be brought to justice.