Back to business after election

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

Following last week’s elections I was delighted that the Conservative Party has taken back control of the council.

We have worked extremely hard to earn a majority and now that the dust has settled we will continue to do so.

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We are currently mapping out some new policies which are based around the issues that matter most to the people of Peterborough.

I would also like to pay tribute to two of our longest serving councillors who lost their seats in the elections.

John Peach had served the Park ward since 1988, whilst Gavin Elsey had represented Orton Waterville since May 2008.

John and Gavin worked tirelessly over the years, were dedicated to their communities and can both feel proud of that they achieved. Personally, I will miss having them around the Town Hall and I wish them well in their future ventures.

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Finally, I would like to thank everybody who voted and those who helped out on the day, from running the polling stations to counting the votes, your efforts are extremely appreciated.

Now that the elections are over, we will be pressing ahead with our Stand Up for Peterborough campaign.

We launched the initiative last year because we believe that the council no longer receives a fair amount of funding from central government and that our residents are being short-changed.

Peterborough is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK in terms of population growth, and demand for certain council services is rapidly increasing, however the current funding we get takes no account of population growth or demand levels.

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So far we have met and explained the city’s unique situation with government experts, MPs and other key stakeholders and we have also received many pledges of support from members of the public.

We are currently waiting to hear back from the government on whether our proposals for a fairer funding formula are acceptable and I will keep you updated on progress in future columns.

In the meantime, you can get involved by pledging your support to the campaign. To find out more visit the council’s website

Saturday sees the annual Peterborough Faith Festival and Food event take place in Cathedral Square, which once again promises to be a spectacular celebration of unity.

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The festival, which is organised by the council and the Peterborough Inter-Faith Council, celebrates the many faiths and cultures that live side by side in the city.

It will feature presentations from children of different faiths in the form of hymn, song, poetry and dance.

I am proud of the fact that we hold such celebrations and of the ongoing work the council is doing as part of the government’s Integrated Communities programme, which will see us work with other authorities to develop new ways of bringing people together.

If you are free on Saturday then do pop along, between 12pm and 3pm and admission is free.

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This year marks the 900th anniversary of Peterborough Cathedral and a series of special events are being held to celebrate this.

One such event will see several daredevils, including the council’s Chief Executive Gillian Beasley, abseiling down the cathedral in aid of good causes.

This challenge certainly won’t be for the faint-hearted and I doth my cap to anyone brave enough to descend a 150 foot vertical drop!

The abseil takes place on May 18 and 19, with funds raised helping to preserve the cathedral and going towards the charity Shine, which provides specialist support for people affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus, which are complex conditions affecting movement, learning and health.

This is a really worthwhile event and everyone is invited to come along and cheer on the participants.