A great effort to keep roads open

Cllr John Holdich
Cllr John Holdich

Last week saw temperatures take a plunge and our city was blanketed in a thick layer of snow for the first time in a long while, writes Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich.

Whilst snowy scenery always looks picturesque and gives youngsters a chance to get creative, the conditions often end up causing people problems especially when it comes to travelling.

Our highways and gritting teams stepped up to the challenge, with the gritters covering a total of 4,818 kilometres, equating to 46 per cent of our road network and using over 400 tonnes of rock salt.

The teams were keen to remind motorists that salt is not a ‘magic dust’ and that it becomes less effective when temperatures drop lower than minus seven degrees. That’s why we and our partner agencies were keen to stress the importance of keeping vehicles in good working order and driving to the conditions of the road.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from our Highways Team for the sterling work they have done over the past few days, it is very much appreciated.

On a similar subject, today (Thursday) marks National Pothole Day - a subject which always gets people talking!

Can I remind everyone to report any potholes they see on their travels to the council by calling 01733 747474 or visiting www.peterborough.gov.uk

Peterborough has been named as the second most innovative place in the country following a study by City AM.

This is based on the number of research and development tax relief claims per person.

These credits allow small and medium sized companies to reduce their tax bills, or claim cash credits, as a proportion of their research and development expenditure.

This is very welcome news indeed and comes off the back of encouraging news that the rate of business creation in the city was recently 50 per cent higher than the national average.

It’s great to see that local businesses are flourishing once again and the city is exceeding expectations.

Local businesses are the lifeblood of our city’s economy and we will continue to support them and encourage growth.

You may be aware that today (Thursday) is also International Women’s Day.

I’ll be marking the occasion by attending a special event at Peterborough Cathedral organised by the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce Business Women’s Sector along with Gillian Beasley, the council’s Chief Executive.

As a council we wholly support any initiative aimed at helping professional women to be successful and flourish in social, development and inspirational environments.

I was once contacted by a journalist who told me that our council was one of the most balanced that he had seen in terms of men and women in senior positions.

I told him that was because when it comes to selecting people for jobs, we always choose the best candidate available - their gender and background are completely irrelevant to us.

Those who love their French cuisine are in for a real treat this week.

That’s because the popular French market is returning to the city centre from today (Thursday) until Sunday, offering a host of culinary delights from across the channel.

The market, which will be based in Cathedral Square, is coordinated by the company French at Home, whose traders have been delivering their delicacies to the UK since 1994.

Mostly from the Normandy area, the stalls offer local and regional cheeses, freshly baked bread, patisserie, olives and dried fruits alongside handbags, jewellery, Provencal soaps and much more.

The market is a welcome temporary addition to the city, bringing in extra visitors and giving the local economy a boost. I’ll certainly be popping along to see what’s on offer and no doubt a delicious dish awaits!