Peterborough City Council Leader cllr John Holdich
If you’re a regular reader of this column then you’ll know I am incredibly proud of how our city is evolving.
We have new shops and restaurants opening in our city centre, development is springing up across the wider city creating housing, retail and leisure opportunities and we have lots of new businesses creating jobs for residents.
All of this is helping position Peterborough as a desirable place to live, visit and do business, but equally important is making sure our city is clean, tidy and attractive.
This is why we launched our prevention and enforcement service in April, to tackle issues such as littering, fly-tipping, illegal parking and other forms of anti-social behaviour that impact on how the city looks and feels.
The new team sees council, police, fire and private sector staff working in one team, sharing powers and information. The idea is that together they can offer a quicker, more visible response to the issues that you have told us matter to you and impact on your quality of life.
Already the team is seeing some fantastic results and so far officers have dealt with 675 incidents of fly-tipping, evicted 12 unauthorised traveller encampments and tackled 315 cases of anti-social behaviour. They’ve also arranged the removal of 131 abandoned vehicles, cleared 264 rubbish accumulations and issued 2,103 parking penalty charge notices.
These figures are impressive and illustrate that by working together with our partners we are a stronger force.
One of the issues that we know really matters to our residents is fly-tipping and as a result this is one of the team’s priorities. Not only do we want to reduce levels of fly-tipping, we want to get better at catching the people who dump the waste.
We’re already seeing results and in the six months to May 2016 we have sent 33 warning letters to individuals and businesses and issued 18 fixed penalty notices. In addition, new regulations which came into force last month mean that anyone caught fly-tipping now faces a fine of £300 as opposed to the £75 fixed penalty notice we used to issue.
It costs taxpayers in this city around £250,000 a year to clean-up waste dumped illegally, so the better we get at catching people the more money we can spend on the services our residents reply upon.
This is why I will be launching a grot spot hotline, as you might have read in last week’s Peterborough Telegraph.
I want people to report issues they see so that we can deal with them straight away, identify those responsible, and take action.
I know that it’s only a small minority who cause a mess in our city and that is why I would like the majority to stand with us to hold them account.
If you see anyone tipping rubbish illegally, please take down as much information as you can, including the vehicle registration, location of the fly-tipping and any other details that will help us identify those responsible.
Our grotspot hotline will be going live soon and we’ll make you aware when it does, but until then please report any issues using the My Peterborough App or alternatively you can give us a call on 01733 747474.
On Sunday I will be starting the Tour of Cambridgeshire cycle ride from Peterborough Arena at midday. If you saw any of last year’s race then I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a fantastic event and well worth watching. I was amazed last year at the standard of some of the riders, in particular the over 65s, some of whom were quicker than the riders in their early 20s!
If you’re a fan of cycling yourself and you’d like to find out more about the Green Wheel and other cycling routes across the city, visit www.travelchoice.org.uk