Green Party Opinion: Making the most of Peterborough’s assets

Nicola Day, Green group deputy leader on Peterborough City Council, talks about utilising existing facilities in the city

By Paul Grinnell
Saturday, 16th April 2022, 7:30 pm

Green councillors in Orton Waterville are delivering for residents. We have been getting tree works organised for residents. We are regularly out on the streets meeting residents. We are supporting the library to ensure this service remains in place.

We have supported residents by installing grass bunds to protect green spaces from unauthorised encampments and have been tackling the issue of anti-social driving in the ward.

A Green in the room changes everything.

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St George's Community Hydrotherapy Pool at Dogsthorpe. EMN-220904-155914009

The Green councillors teamed up with ‘Up the Garden Bath’ to create a pollinator pop-up park in Orton Waterville Ward, in an area that was regularly fly-tipped.

The fly-tipping has decreased, and the area now looks and feels more welcoming and appealing. The Greens would like to encourage more of this kind of work that not only builds better spaces, but also builds stronger and more resilient communities.

On a city issue, the Greens are saddened to hear that St George’s Hydrotherapy Pool, which serves people with disabilities in the city, has now been ‘mothballed’ and is set to close, even though they were given assurances that it would be maintained by a private developer.

This was also confirmed during a cross party Financial Working Group meeting by the Conservative administration.

Protest to stop of the felling of an old oak tree at Ringwood, Bretton. EMN-210729-114025009

It seems that the figures or the excuses for this sudden change of direction from the Conservatives do not add up in terms of figures, or the decision.

The private developer had been in negotiations for 15 months with the council and suddenly this has been pulled away at the last minute with little valid explanation.

This will cause distress to both staff and users of the hydrotherapy pool.

The Green Party is in full support of ensuring this pool is maintained and that the current private developer is allowed to take over and manage the pool so he can offer these vital services to residents across the city.

The Greens have also played an active role in the decisions made regarding the Bretton oak tree.

Cllr Nicola Day called upon the Growth, Environment and Resources Committee (on which she sits) to ensure that a separate meeting was held for the Bretton Oak so that it could be given the full time and attention it deserves.

At that meeting Cllr Nicola Day spoke in support and in favour of the Bretton oak tree and cited the ‘Tree Protection Order’ that was placed on it in the 1970s as a reason not to fell it.

She also spoke up for ensuring that alternatives, such as underpinning, were considered which would save the council money.

So many trees have been felled in Bretton, particularly along Blind Lane.

It was right, as Greens, to stand up against something that would remove a valued natural asset in the community.

Since the Greens have been elected, they have passed a ‘Climate Emergency Declaration’ in July 2019.

This has now seen the creation of carbon management action plans, which aim to get us to net zero carbon by 2030.

The council has passed such a plan and the cross-party climate change working group is also in the process of creating a city-wide plan.

The climate team at the council is growing, and we as Greens feel this is the right direction we should be pursuing to create and protect the children and grandchildren of our city.

Not only will a ‘Green Vision’ protect our future generations, investment in creating and developing net zero carbon technologies will give us skills sets and a manufacturing base that will create jobs, investment and green growth economies.

We can utilise our links to the university, the FE sector and manufacturing sector to ensure that we are not only growing our skills base, but becoming a leading centre for net zero technologies, offering meaningful and purposeful jobs to many residents in the city.

The Green Party works hard for residents, the city and for the future.

We are also willing to work collaboratively with other local parties to create an alliance of creativity, compassion, and resilience.