New action to stop voting fraud

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

It is little over one month until city council elections take place on May 3 and I am pleased to confirm that Peterborough is one of eight areas in England to take part in a Voter Pilot scheme to help combat electoral fraud.

We chose to be part of the initiative as we have a national reputation for our sterling work in deterring electoral fraud at elections in previous years.

The scheme has been launched by the Cabinet Office and will see us bring in tougher measures to strengthen our postal and proxy voter process. These include officers hand delivering postal voting packs and completing face to face surveys with postal voters to stress the importance of completing the vote themselves. The proxy vote is being strengthened, with all proxy voters required to produce photographic identification at polling stations, before being issued with a ballot paper to vote on another’s behalf.

We have also set up an election fraud hotline and anyone who has any concerns can report them by calling (01733) 452277. If you believe an act of malpractice is ongoing call police on 101 or 999. For general enquiries about the elections call (01733) 452249.

Can I also take this opportunity to remind people to make sure they are registered to vote before the deadline of Tuesday, April 17. The fastest way to register to vote is online at www.gov.uk/register-to- vote

I was delighted that Peterborough has been selected by CityFibre and Vodafone UK to benefit from a city-wide roll-out of full fibre infrastructure.

Vodafone will use the network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to customers by early 2019. Vodafone Gigafast Broadband will offer customers ultrafast and reliable full fibre broadband at every stage of the connection from their home or workplace to the Internet.

The roll-out could unlock huge economic growth in Peterborough exceeding £700 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) over the next 15 years. Peterborough is already making full use of the arterial fibre network built by CityFibre in 2013 following the award of a major public-sector contract. Residents and businesses in Peterborough can pre-register for the service at www.vodafone.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast.

It was also pleasing to hear that city firm Westcombe Engineering won a prestigious award last week.

They took home the Manufacturer of the Year (under £25m) category at this year’s Made In Central & East England manufacturing awards.

The Manufacturer of the Year (under £25m) award recognises and rewards manufacturing companies based in the Central and East of England with a turnover of less than £25m and/or less than 250 employees, that have demonstrated ‘excellence and made an outstanding contribution to the manufacturing industry’ during the qualifying period. Westcombe won the award thanks to a 40 per cent growth over the past two years which was achieved through a marketing strategy that helped it to grow both locally and globally.

I would like to congratulate everyone at Westcombe, they are certainly worthy winners and I’m sure they’ll keep up their excellent work.

At our monthly Cabinet meeting on Monday it was agreed that a cross party working group will be set up to explore options for a 20mph speed limit in parts of Werrington.

The group will be set up after the May elections and will also look at whether this measure would be effective in other parts of the city. As a council we take public concerns about speeding extremely seriously and whilst we do not enforce speed limits (this is a police matter) we actively work to help ensure that the city’s roads are as safe as possible.

On the subject of roads, we are also looking into ways of testing and delivering fines for verge parking in the city. We realise that this is a bugbear for many motorists and pedestrians and will work towards finding effective solutions.