Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich:
This week saw youngsters starting primary school in September receive confirmation of their place, which is always an important and exciting time for children.
The good news is that the vast majority of pupils will be attending their first preference school - out of the 2,821 applications 91 per cent have been offered their first choice.
In total, 98 per cent of pupils were offered one of their three preference primary schools, which really is tremendous.
This achievement has been made possible thanks to continued good planning by our Education team, who have worked to create thousands of new school places to keep up with the city’s rapid population increase over the past decade.
Back in 2008, a total of 2,222 requested primary school places, compared to 2,821 this year, which works out as a 27 per cent rise.
This has been addressed through the provision of new primary schools including Hampton College Primary Phase and St Michael’s Primary School in Stanground and expansions of existing primary schools, such as Gladstone Primary school, West Town Academy and Hampton Hargate, Hampton Vale, Thomas Deacon Academy Junior School and All Saints.
Unfortunately IT problems meant that parents could not initially view their offers online first thing on Monday morning.
We were able to fix this problem by late morning and can only apologise for any inconvenience which was caused.
You may be aware that the old Bridge House mural which used to overlook Town Bridge and the River Nene will soon have a new home.
The iconic mural, which celebrates the evolution of science and engineering, will take pride of place on the side of the new multi-storey car park at Fletton Quays.
Back in 2012 the mural was removed piece by piece ahead of the demolition of Bridge House and it has been in storage ever since.
Now here’s a fun little question for you - exactly how many pieces is the mural split in to? The first person to contact me with the correct answer (you can either email or write) will win a small prize.
On a serious note, it is marvellous to see Fletton Quays developing at pace right before our very eyes.
The fact that the mural will be a focal point of the new development is a great way of mixing the old with the new and I can’t wait to see it unveiled.
Anyone who has walked through the entrance to Peterborough railway station recently may have noticed a new addition - a big TV screen showing videos about this year’s Perkins Great Eastern Run, the Market, Peterborough Celebrates and much more.
The screen has been put up by our Marketing Team and will be used to show any promotional videos about the city that they produce. There is also a similar screen now at the Visitor Information Centre in Bridge Street.
The idea behind this is to give a positive impression of Peterborough to people who are using the station from anywhere in the country.
The video content will be regularly updated throughout the year, so why not go and take a look?
Having made reference to the Perkins Great Eastern Run, I should also mention that our popular lunchtime running sessions are making a return to the city centre, giving people a chance to get active in their lunch breaks.
The runs will leave the Embankment Athletics Track, in Bishop’s Road, Peterborough, every Wednesday from May 2 to July 4.
Everyone is welcome to attend and all abilities will be catered for.
The sessions take place from 12noon to 1pm and are overseen by a fully qualified England Athletics Endurance Coach.
There is no need to book in advance, just simply turn up with your trainers and running clothes.
Changing facilities and showers will be available at the athletics track and for further information you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In last week’s column I spoke about the superb quality of events which are regularly happening around the city.
A popular series of events which is back for springtime, are the lunchtime concerts at St John’s Church.
The concerts take place each Tuesday from 1pm until 1.45pm until June 12 and feature pianists, flautists and vocal ensembles. You can find out more via the following website: https://stjohnscic.wordpress.com/.