It’s hard to believe that Christmas is now less than two weeks away, but then again 2018 has flown by at some pace, writes Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich.
If, like me, you leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute, then I’m sure the next few days will be busy as you prepare for the big day.
Please do be aware, however, that over the Christmas and New Year period our council offices will be closing their doors.
Our main offices, including Sand Martin House, Bayard Place and the Town Hall will be closed from noon on December 24 until January 2, 2019, with no face-to-face services available.
However, the council’s call centre will open from December 27 to 31, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, and there will also be support in place for key services.
Our office buildings and call centre will open as usual on January 2.
The other key change to remember is that black and green bin collection days alter between Christmas and New Year. For full details about office closures and bin collection changes visit www.peterborough.gov.uk.
I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Peter Boizot last week, a man whose contribution to this city will never be forgotten.
I can only echo what others have said about him and his extraordinary life, which saw him found and run the hugely successful Pizza Express chain.
Peter never forgot his roots and was proud to come from this city. He is also remembered for his time as chairman of Peterborough United Football Club, during which the club won promotion at Wembley in 2000.
Since Peter’s death we’ve been asked if the council will be paying tribute to him in some form, such as naming a street after him.
The answer to this is…. of course we will. We are now looking into the options for the most fitting dedication for Peter and will report back when we have more news.
With the festive party season in full swing I would like to remind everyone to take care while out and about.
To help people get home safely from nights out we’ve teamed up with Cambridgeshire police to run a taxi marshals scheme, which was successfully trialled last year.
Two Security Industry Authority (SIA) registered marshals will operate on the city’s Broadway rank, working to prevent alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour and ensure passengers can access taxis quickly and get home safely. They will also work to prevent private hire vehicles from touting.
The marshals will carry body worn cameras and radios which will give them access to CCTV and the police.
The scheme launched on December 7 and will continue each weekend up to and including New Year’s Eve between 10pm and 6am (except Christmas Eve which will be 9pm until 2am).
The safety of the public is our utmost priority and, alongside the police, we’re determined to crack down on alcohol related anti-social behaviour.
We would like to remind landlords that new regulations for Houses in Multiple Occupations (HMOs) mean they need a licence for all properties with more than five people and two or more households.
Landlords of HMOs in Peterborough that fall under the new regulations - which came into force on October 1 - must apply for a licence from Peterborough City Council in order to lawfully continue letting the property.
The cost of a licence is £750 and it lasts for five years.
Finally, our city market team is once again giving budding entrepreneurs the chance to trial their business there for free over the Christmas and New Year period.
And if you’re heading to the market to get your fresh Christmas dinner veggies and stocking-filler gifts, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a hamper full of goodies.
Pop down there before the closing date of December 20 to be in with a chance of winning.