Opinion: 'Thanks to staff who helped beat heat', writes Peterborough City Council leader Wayne Fitzgerald

Peterborough City Council leader Wayne Fitzgerald gives a Town Hall view in this weeks column.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 3:05 pm

I hope everyone managed to stay cool and follow the relevant safety advice. I know this isn’t easy – it's so tempting to venture outside but just a few minutes in such heat can have devastating consequences for those who are more vulnerable.

I want to pay tribute to the dedicated work of council staff who have ensured that essential services could continue, including our refuse collectors who have battled the heat to keep on top of bin collections and our rough sleeper outreach team which has supported rough sleepers with Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP).

Extreme heat can be just as dangerous as snow and icy conditions when you are living on the streets.

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Bin collections started earlier on Tuesday in a bid to keep crews out of the midday sun as temperatures climbed to 40C.

Our staff worked with members of the wider Safer Off the Streets partnership to walk the streets and find those sleeping rough and to offer accommodation, water and sunscreen to those who wanted it.

I’d also like to mention our school staff, who worked hard to keep our schools open and children safe and well. On the subject of which, schools across the city closed their gates for the summer holidays this week.

My school days were a little while ago, but I can vividly remember the excitement of the final week of term and looking forward to six weeks of freedom. Although sometimes by the second week I was already looking for things to do.

Events for children

However, the good news for youngsters of today is that there is plenty to keep them occupied in Peterborough this summer.

Book-loving children are invited to join the annual Summer Reading Challenge, which centres around gadgets and science. By taking part youngsters can discover fascinating facts on the amazing science and innovation that happens every day in the world. To take part simply visit your local library.

Meanwhile, prehistoric creatures can be admired at Peterborough Cathedral, with the Natural History Museum’s touring exhibition ‘T.rex: The Killer Question’ on display until September 3.

Tickets are available via the Cathedral’s website www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/t.rex or by calling Ticket Source on 0333 666 3366.

Don’t forget that there is also plenty of support available for families struggling right now, including through the Household Support Fund. Those seeking support should visit the council’s website.

Peterborough Sports Football Club

On Monday evening I had the pleasure of meeting players and staff from Peterborough Sports Football Club for a special drinks reception at Peterborough Town Hall to celebrate the club’s recent success.

The 2021/22 season was a landmark year for 'The Turbines' with the club reaching the second tier of the Non-League pyramid by finishing runners-up in Southern League Premier Division and gaining promotion by winning the play-offs. The club is now only two divisions away from the English Football League and when you consider they played in the Peterborough League as recently as 2013, you can see they have had a phenomenal rise.

I hope everyone from the club enjoyed the event - it was fantastic to meet their staff and players and discuss the secrets to their success. I would like to wish them the very best of luck ahead of the new football season.

Peterborough University

It’s long been an ambition to have a dedicated university for Peterborough and we are now just weeks away now from the first students walking through the doors. This week it was announced that students from more than 40 countries have applied to study at the university, which is very exciting.

It's great news for our university and proof that Peterborough is a place where people want to live and study and very positive for our economy too, which will benefit from the investment that these young people will make in our city.

ARU Peterborough will offer a wide range of courses from business and management, to cybersecurity, to engineering as well as a range of degree apprenticeships

Places are still available to study at ARU Peterborough in September. In addition, a significant number of courses begin in January 2023. For more information, visit aru.ac.uk/Peterborough

Lincoln Road plans

In other news, our public consultation event inviting residents to have their say on Lincoln Road improvements funded by the Towns Fund was cancelled due to the heat.

The event was due to take place on Tuesday, but has now been rescheduled to Tuesday, 2 August between 10am and 3pm. You can of course complete the survey online as well at www.peterborough.gov.uk/lincoln-road

It's important to note that this is a consultation which plans to achieve a very specific set of objectives set by the Government, including encouraging more people to walk and cycle and boosting business in the area. We welcome all views, so make sure you have your say!