John Holdich: Jobcentre move will make access simpler

This week the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officially moved its Jobcentre Plus service from Broadway into the south wing of the Town Hall building in Bridge Street.

The job centre will continue to provide the same functions as before, but will be easier for residents to access, positioned just along the same street as our own council offices and the recently opened Cross Keys Customer Central.

Unfortunately a Combined Authority meeting meant I couldn’t attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony myself, but my colleagues Cllr David Seaton and Gillian Beasley were there to officially open this building to the public.

By renting out parts of the Town Hall and Sand Martin House to our partner organisations, we have been able to consolidate our office stock to become the anchor tenant on the new Fletton Quays site.

This a cost-neutral move for the council. It has also enabled us to kick-start the Fletton Quays development, boost tourism, extend the city centre to the south and create hundreds of new jobs and housing.

Replacement building contractors have been secured for the new Hampton Lakes Primary School and Jack Hunt School expansion, after the collapse of Carillion earlier this year. The two building projects will provide much-needed additional school places for the city.

Interserve Construction Limited has entered into a pre-construction services agreement to build Hampton Lakes Primary School. The school was due to open in September 2019, but will now open in late spring 2020.

RG Carters has been appointed to continue the expansion of Jack Hunt school, which will see 11 new classrooms, a science classroom, an all-weather sports pitch, new dining room and kitchen. This is set to open on schedule in June 2019.

I’m pleased we can finally get work moving again on these key sites to ensure sufficient school places are available in the city in future years.

The theme of this year’s National Recycling Week is ‘Recycling. We do. Because it matters.’

To celebrate the week, we’ve joined forces with East Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire District Councils to launch a county-wide ‘Metal Matters’ campaign, encouraging residents to see the hidden recycling potential of their waste cans, tins and kitchen foil.

When it comes to recycling, metal is hard to beat. That’s because it’s endlessly recyclable. Every last bit can be turned into something else and it’s a cycle that can go on and on forever.

The metal you recycle from home could be transformed into lots of new products, from watches, smartphones and even washing machines and cars. Plus, by keeping these items out of your black bin, you will be able help our aim to become the UK’s first environmental capital, save the Council’s disposal costs and help us generate more income by selling the metal to others.

For each tonne of metal we collect, we generate £500 of income. At a time when all councils are having to make huge savings, this is a simple and easy way to help protect the services that matter to you.

Finally, three charities have joined together to challenge members of the public to spend a night sleeping rough in the city centre, while helping homeless people.

Peterborough’s Big Sleep Out has been organised by YMCA Trinity Group, Hope into Action and the Light Project Peterborough and will take place from 7pm to 7am in the Peterborough Cathedral grounds.

Participants are invited to bring warm bedding and clothing and to give £10 per adult, or £17.50 for a family of four to take part. All proceeds will go to homeless charities in the city. To take part and get a unique insight into what it’s like to sleep rough, visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/peterboroughs-big-sleep-out-tickets-43085826868 to buy your ticket.

- Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich gives his view on the council and news and issues affecting you