Opinion: 'We're working to make Peterborough even better', writes council leader Wayne Fitzgerald

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Making Peterborough an even better place to live work and play remains a key goal for the city and we’ve made great strides with this recently

As a council, we’ve faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, but we’re actively moving forwards particularly with regards to our financial situation. We’re not out of the woods yet, but when I think how far we’ve come in a relatively short time, it fills me with pride.

Leading this Conservative-led administration, which has spearheaded much of our progress, is a great honour for me. However, the job is not an easy one I will admit and not without its political and personal challenges.

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For example, the opposition parties regularly talk about the need for change, but never tell you what that change would entail.

Peterborough Railway StationPeterborough Railway Station
Peterborough Railway Station

I know they have no vision or policies to put forward instead they constantly tell you it’s “time for change” and "we’ll put people before politics”. Nobody is really fooled by these sound bites.

Since May this year I’ve spoken with many people who are disappointed with certain councillors who were voted in as a Conservatives but then jumped ship to become so-called independent councillors.

Many like me believe they should have stepped down and faced the public in a vote again – let me know what you think, and I will tell them for you at the next council meeting.

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City centre growth

On a more positive note, we’re getting on with the job in hand and the next few years will see our historic city continue to grow with many exciting developments on the horizon.

One such scheme will see our train station and the area around it, known as the Station Quarter, dramatically enhanced, following a successful bid for £48 million of government funds.

Key to the project is the creation of a new western entrance to the station with a car park – creating a double-sided station – with a new wider footbridge over the train lines.

This will alleviate pressure on city centre roads, making it easier and safer to travel around the city by foot or bike. Green areas with biodiversity, community spaces and better connections to the city centre will make it safer and more attractive for bikes and pedestrians too.

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The project will improve rail passenger journeys and encourage more rail travel, which will have a positive economic impact on the city, and regionally, as the city is already well connected to key areas of East England and the rest of the UK.

In addition, it will support Peterborough in attracting knowledge-intensive and high-level employers through its improved transport links.

Peterborough’s Strongest

This summer has already seen several exciting events taking place across the city and there are still plenty more to come.

This Sunday will see the first ‘Peterborough’s Strongest’ competition take place in Cathedral Square,

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Organised by Peterborough Positive, in association with Royals Gym, it will consist of five events across four categories, including Women, Beginners, Novice, and Intermediate.

Spectators can watch for free, and the action begins at 11am. World Strongman Games athlete, Craig Candler, will be the competition’s head referee, with current International Powerlifting League (IPL) Bench Press world number 2, PJ Carter, taking to the floor as the event’s compare.

Organisers have got eyes on next year’s event already and hope to grow participation of athletes as well as local leisure clubs.

Peterborough Beer Festival

One of the city’s most-anticipated events is now less than one week away, with crowds set to flock to the Embankment for the annual Peterborough Beer Festival.

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As usual there will be hundred of beers, ciders and wines available, as well as food stalls, activities and fun live music. You can find out more by visiting https://pborobeerfest.camra.org.uk/

Finally, what a performance from the Lionesses to get through to the World Cup Final on Sunday - I can’t wait to cheer them on!