Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich:
This week sees the start of the new school year and although we’re still enjoying high temperatures, autumn is fast approaching.
I think this summer has been one of the best in recent times with prolonged warm weather and lots of fun-filled activities across the city.
This weekend saw two more fantastic events take place - the classic car and vintage vehicle festival and a community fun day in Central Park.
The car show was once again a great success with hundreds of people flocking to the Embankment to admire the many shining chassis and wheeled wonders on display.
I had the pleasure of attending the fun day which featured a community cricket match between the council, Cambridgeshire Police and Fire Service and members of the Joint Mosque Council.
I even donned my batting pads and faced two balls without getting out, which I was pretty pleased with! Joking aside, this was an excellent event and I was thrilled to see Central Park jam-packed with people of all ages enjoying themselves.
The event was held as part of our ongoing efforts to bring communities together, and it certainly achieved this, so I would like to say a big ‘well done’ to everyone involved.
Not only this, but participants managed to raise over £1,100 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, which is outstanding.
And don’t forget this weekend sees the much-anticipated Italian Festival take place in Cathedral Square.
I was delighted to hear that our early years services for children, which we share with Cambridgeshire County Council, received a glowing peer review recently.
The review focused on speech and language support for young children that helps to ensure they are ready to start school, as well as examining other support and services for families with young children including pre and post-natal health provision.
Strong leadership and effective multi-agency working across the two local authorities was praised and the commitment to prioritise early years, including speech, language and communication recognised.
The report highlighted the positive culture across both councils, a willingness to share learning and work together to improve outcomes.
It is vitally important that children make progress ahead of starting school and we are committed to continuing to provide this vital support.
On the subject of glowing reviews, our Customer Services team, which is run by Serco, has been rated as excellent by an independent assessor for the 10th year in a row.
The team has achieved the prestigious Customer Service Excellence accreditation - a national government standard which recognises organisations with outstanding performance in customer service.
In the past year, the team has handled around 290,000 calls, 58,000 emails and 150,000 face-to-face visits from members of the public, which is a huge amount.
As a council we deal with members of the public on a daily basis and are committed to ensuring that the service they receive is of the highest standard, so again, a big well done to everyone involved.
You may recall that a few weeks ago we revealed Peterborough was bidding to host international football matches at the city’s Abax stadium as part of the UEFA Women’s European Championships in 2021.
Here’s an exciting update - we’ve been successful in our bid with the Football Association to be one of the eight host cities for the championships. We now have to wait until December to find out whether the FA’s bid to be host country for the tournament is accepted.
If successful, this would see spectators coming here from all over the world at a time when the women’s game is rapidly increasing in popularity.
It’s a fantastic opportunity and ours is a strong bid, so hopefully we will get the nod.
I am also pleased to say that the future of Rhubarb Bridge will be resolved shortly, with significant repairs to the bridge structures set to be made.
On Monday, the project’s cross party working group met with parties involved and agreed a package of repairs which will secure the long term future of the much-valued bridge. The plans, if approved by cabinet, will see repair work as well as road widening, new signals and crossings installed.