Much to be proud of in Peterborough says council leader

Cllr John Holdich
Cllr John Holdich
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Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich:

As an expanding city, we have our fair share of new homes, extensions and developments.

So it is only right that the city was recognised at the Local Authority Building Control regional awards ceremony last week with one winning entry and five finalist places.

Scott’s Farm, a private cul-de-sac in Glinton, built by Rutland-based Hereward Homes scooped a gold award in the Best Small New Housing Development category. Peterborough also scored highly in many other categories too.

It was also a finalist in several categories including Best Inclusive Building for the Cross Keys Homes Lapwing Court building used as social housing for over 55s, Best Education Building for Hampton Gardens Secondary School and Best Extension for 20 High Street, Glinton.

While attending the ceremony with our head of planning, I met with many developers across the region which were impressed with our city’s growth and regeneration over the last 10 years.

We have much to celebrate in this city, and our ability to expand while retaining our identity and culture is just one important part of this. My thanks to our planning team who help us to achieve this each and every day.

Highlees Primary School in Westwood is celebrating this week, after receiving a glowing Ofsted result.

As a former governor at Highlees I was delighted to hear they are continuing to do well. This is now the second time in three years that the school, which is run by the Elliot Foundation Academies Trust and supported by Peterborough City Council, has achieved a good ranking.

Ofsted inspectors praised the school director’s strong and determined leadership and said the school was a positive, happy place where pupils learn and develop well.

Not many schools obtain two good rankings in a row and the outcome is testament to the hard work of staff, teachers, governors and children.

On the subject of education, many Year 7s around the city have now finished their GCSEs and have attended their school prom.

In my day we didn’t have a prom, which I think was a terrible shame. Regardless of how much you enjoyed your school days, your achievements or how many people signed your leaving book, leaving school is an important rite of passage and should be marked as such.

Moving to the subject of art, the city is about to get a lot brighter over the coming weeks. Already this week, our Virgin Media boxes in the Central ward have been transformed into vibrant graffiti artworks, thanks to inmates at HMP Peterborough.

Sodexo, which runs the prison, launched an art competition with inmates and the winning designs were recreated in-situ by art tutors.

Next week another art project comes to our city in the form of yellow fish which will be painted on pavements near Werrington Primary School and Norwood Primary School.

This is part of an Anglian Water initiative to remind residents to only put rain water down the drain.

I’d like to wish our NHS a very happy birthday as it is turned 70 years old on Thursday.

We remain one of the only countries in the world to benefit from a free national health care service. Indeed in many parts of the world if you don’t have medical insurance and you need emergency help, you could faced with a huge bill, or even worse, refused help altogether.

Our NHS provides everyone with the same standard of care regardless of their financial circumstances.

My own family have seen the inside Peterborough NHS buildings on multiple occasions over the past decade, for operations, help after illness and accidents, births and sadly, deaths too.

The service plays a vital role in our lives and I want to recognise and thank the extraordinary NHS staff - the everyday heroes - who are there to guide support and care for all of us, day in, day out.

Very many happy returns to the NHS.

Finally, although I love the sunshine, I must admit I’m suffering a little in this hot weather we’ve been experiencing.

There seems to be three things that are certain during a British summer. People like me complaining about the heat, hosepipe bans and sadly, pets dying unnecessarily through heat exhaustion.

If you are a pet owner, make sure you do everything you do to keep your animals cool and relaxed. A ready supply of cool water, shade and limiting physical activity during daylight hours all go a long way to keep pets happy and healthy during the long hot summer days.

Also, remember to check in on relatives, friends and neighbours. Older people especially are more susceptible to heat related illnesses, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion and swelling in the ankles and feet. During the summer many isolated people can also feel as if everyone is having fun except them.

A knock on the door and sharing a cold drink or an ice cream will help you to spot any warning signs and improve their wellbeing.