Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich:
Flytipping is a crime which affects everyone in our city.
It not only ruins the look and feel of an area, it dents the pride residents have in their local communities and is also a very real fire risk.
In May I wrote in this column that one of my top priorities is eradicating flytipping and I wanted to give you an update on how we are getting on.
We are going to set up a cross party task and finish group of members to look at best practice elsewhere and produce a robust and detailed action plan to tackle this scourge for approval by cabinet by the autumn.
This group will bring all political parties together to investigate the issue of flytipping.
It will investigate the use of our existing household recycling centres and see if more are needed. Also in its scope will be our enforcement work to ensure we have effective ways to catch offenders and prosecute them.
This is an important opportunity for us to improve what we are doing, because I know we are all sick and tired of the blight that flytipping is on our city.
This approach will mean that for the first time, everyone in the council regardless of which political party they belong, is working together to find a solution.
This week I spoke with a city construction firm about the Peterborough Contractors Framework. This ensures local companies - employing city residents - are the first choice for future council building projects.
Since the framework was set up in February 2017, nine local companies (or preferred council suppliers) were awarded a total of £13.5million worth of contracts, including refurbishments and expansions at Parnwell Primary School, St George’s Hydrotherapy Pool and Oakdale Primary School.
As well as supporting local industry, it has helped to ensure that our unemployment rates in the city are much lower than the national average, at just 1.4 per cent.
For those of you who are not aware, Monday will be the first day of National Democracy Week.
The week-long celebrations in Peterborough will feature in-depth interviews with councillors on social media (including myself) revealing what sparked their passion for local government.
I was born into politics as my father was a councillor, but whatever your background being involved in politics is extremely rewarding.
We also have our Democracy in a Day event taking place at Town Hall next Wednesday (3 July) from 5pm to 8pm which will give you an insight into how decisions are made and what the role of a councillor involves.
It’s free for anyone who wants to come, so if you fancy becoming a councillor in the future, are studying politics or just simply want to find out a bit more about the council, please come along.
Armed Forces Day will be taking place on Saturday and in Peterborough we have an extra special event taking place this year.
A blue plaque will be unveiled on the outside of the now Boots Opticians in Long Causeway, which was used to recruit 8,000 men during the First World War.
It’s a sad fact that many never returned to the city once they got abroad and for this reason it’s important to commemorate the sacrifice that they made.
I’d like to also give thanks to the Peterborough Civic Society which will be adding this building as part of its popular blue plaques tour.
Finally, Ferry Meadows will be celebrating its 40th birthday this weekend with a cultural festival taking place this Saturday and Sunday.
There will be live music, a teddy bears’ picnic, craft and gift stalls, food stalls, a children’s storyteller and much more throughout the weekend from 10am to 5pm.
If you haven’t visited this city gem for a while, this is well worth attending as it’s free to enter (though some activities may incur a small cost) and the weather promises to be sunny, warm and fine.
I’ll be attending with Barbara and the grandchildren, so if you spot me, do come and say hello.