Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich:
Listening to residents and acting on their concerns is a crucial part of the role for the city council’s cabinet, not least during the consultation period on our annual budget proposals.
Yes, we are having to make tough decisions on some services due to a severe cut in Government funding, but we will always try to do our best to meet the needs of the community when they approach us for support.
In the case of Bretton Water Park, I am delighted that a solution has been agreed to prevent us from having to close the facility. Vivacity have offered to run this popular facility during the summer months and the organisation is ideally placed to do this as they also look after a number of other leisure and sports sites in the city.
This will guarantee the long-term future of Bretton Water Park and I am pleased our cabinet has been able to support with this. The annual budget setting is a complex procedure and I would like to take the opportunity to use this column to offer clarification on one matter. Unfortunately, some confusion was caused around the future of The Manor - a respite home in Peterborough for children with disabilities. This resulted from information provided in the equality impact assessment report, which is an appendix to the budget consultation document. To set the record straight, we are looking to cease overnight stays at The Manor, but retain the building for outreach work. It will not close. Those families who currently receive overnight care at The Manor are receiving support from their social workers to agree alternative provision, including at the nearby Cherry Lodge respite home. We apologise for any confusion on the facility’s future and an amendment to the relevant document will be made. As with everything included in the budget consultation document, there is still time for people to have their say. The consultation is open until 5pm this Monday (5th).
Do take the opportunity to give feedback on the proposals, with details of how to do so on the city council’s website. Hard copies of the budget proposals document and questionnaire are also available on Town Hall and Bayard Place receptions, and at city libraries. It seems hard to believe with this week’s freezing temperatures but today, the first of March, is commonly recognised as the start of spring. This signals that warmer weather is on its way and we can start to look forward to longer evenings and days out, without the need to be wrapped up like Frosty the Snowman. However, the forecast suggests this is a little way off yet so please do continue to take care as the sub-zero temperatures look set to last into the weekend. Our gritters are out, doing everything they can to keep the city moving, but even so there will be some tough driving conditions and inevitably some disruption.
Please do take care on the roads. Extreme weather conditions can cause discomfort to people at home too, so, particularly if you have elderly neighbours, do keep an eye out for them and check they have everything they may need.
Finally this week, it was my pleasure to attend the Times Educational Supplement Further Educations Awards for 2018 ceremony. I was invited by City College Peterborough, with the college shortlisted in the category for ‘Adult and Community Learning Provider of the Year’. Despite not winning the award, it was a great achievement for the City College to be recognised on a national level.