There’s been lots in the media this week about a decline in the number of people who use their right to vote, writes leader of Peterborough City Council Cllr John Holdich.
I can understand why some people feel disillusioned as not everyone will get the results they want from their councillor or MP - we cannot make decisions that please everyone.
But the fact is that your local council provides many of the services you see and use every day, things like bin collections, schools, libraries, leisure centres and housing. My fellow councillors and I decide how much public money we spend on these services and how they are provided.
In the past year we’ve launched our own trading company to provide services including bin collections which were previously provided by Amey, we’ve supported more people than ever before who are in housing difficulty, we’ve opened a brand new Household Recycling Centre and supported the roll-out of some of the fastest internet speeds in the country.
We’ve delivered a balanced budget yet again with even less government funding at our disposal and we’ve increased the amount of money we generate by operating more like a business.
These are all big decisions that affect everyone in this city now and in the future and you need to know that the people making decisions on your behalf are qualified and have your best interests at heart. You can only influence this if you vote.
When I am door knocking around election time I urge people to vote on local issues and not what is happening nationally.
For example, the Brexit negotiations taking place are a matter for MPs and something that we as local councillors cannot affect, so your vote in the local elections should not be about Brexit as local councillors have no influence over that.
There are also people who use their vote to make a protest vote, by voting for a party with a crazy name for example.
Doing this simply allows a candidate who is not the best person for the job to win the seat.
The deadline for people to register to vote in the local elections on 2 May is tomorrow (Friday) at 5pm. Please make sure you are registered. If you don’t, then how can you moan when decisions are made which you don’t agree with?
You can register by visiting www.peterborough.gov.uk/elections. You can also sign up here for a postal vote ahead of the deadline on 15 April or a proxy vote by 24 April.
I love hunting for a bargain and if you do too, then a new regular event at Peterborough Market will be right up your street.
The market is starting a weekly vintage and second hand auction with the first one kicking off on Good Friday, April 19, and then running every Friday from 9am, with sales starting at 12noon.
So if you’ve got some hidden treasures gathering dust, this is a great chance to see if they are worth anything and possibly make a few extra pounds.
You can bring literally anything along for sale, such as china, glassware, bric a brac, jewellery, clocks, coins, collectables and small furniture.
The market has held some wonderful events of late and a Spring Fair will be taking place on April 27, with full details announced shortly.
Staff at the council’s new offices at Sand Martin House at Fletton Quays have helped to support two good causes.
A staff tuck shop has been held, run on a voluntary basis and at no cost to the council, raising money for a different local charity every month.
Last month the initiative raised £2,000 for the Safer Off the Streets Partnership and a cheque for £1,000 was also written out for Peterborough Food Bank.
This money will make a real difference to two worthy causes so I would like to thank everyone who contributed.
It was a special week for the Holdich family last week as my wife Barbara and I celebrated 54 years of marriage and she also received a Civic Award for her community work.
Forgive me, but I’d like to misuse this column by doing what I think the young people call a ‘shout out’ to tell her that I’m very proud of her and would not be where I am today without her love and support.
Barbara has worked tirelessly for Glinton over many years and continues to do so. She’s not only a hard worker, but a great listener and comfort to others.