Our annual council meeting took place on Monday night which always feels like the start of a new year for everyone, says Peterborough City Council Leader John Holdich.
We welcomed Councillor Chris Ash as our new Mayor for the year ahead, our party’s Cabinet lineup was announced and I was confirmed as continuing as Leader, which as I always say is an honour and a privilege.
You may be interested to know that there has been a Holdich representative on councils across the region stretching right back to 1868, so as you can see I’m continuing a long and proud family tradition.
During the meeting, I outlined some of our highlights from the past 12 months as well as some of our exciting plans to ensure we continue to deliver first class services to our residents.
Chief among these plans are new ways of working to tackle the ongoing problem of fly-tipping.
When we were out canvassing ahead of the the recent council elections, fly-tipping was repeatedly highlighted on the doorsteps as a major concern for residents.
So that is why I am asking the scrutiny panel to set up a working group to look at, review and update all our waste policies.
We need to consider how we can involve new technology more and ensure we have the right facilities to meet customers’ needs. We will also be investigating the need for a further recycling facility in the south of the city. I was also delighted to announce that we will be setting up a local authority trading company to deliver a number of key services.
Subject to formal approval at Cabinet this summer, the company will initially operate some of the services formerly carried out by AMEY, including refuse collections, street cleaning and home to school transport, with the possibility of other services transferring too.
Saving money and providing better services is something we have always strived for and the creation of this company allows us to deliver better services at a lower cost.
As any motorist will know, being stuck in traffic can be incredibly frustrating and our highways team are always looking at ways of easing congestion around the city.
I’m delighted to say that we’ve joined forces with the Combined Authority to fund work which will see an extra lane installed here and this could get under way later this year.
The project isn’t fully designed yet, but the intention is to widen a 400 metre length of the A605 eastbound from the Alwalton junction to Lynchwood, so effectively there will be two lanes running eastbound over this section.
We will announce full details closer to the time including how the work will affect motorists and we’re confident that this will reduce congestion on the A1 southbound and into Lynchwood.
We always value your feedback on highways issues, so if you have a particular concern or issue don’t hesitate to get in touch. Visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/report or call 01733 747474.
The past week has been a particularly busy one and my diary for the next few days is equally packed too.
Last Thursday myself and Councillor Irene Walsh paid a visit to Fletton Quays to see the completed former Bridge House mural.
On Tuesday I was at the former John Mansfield School site in Dogsthorpe with James Palmer, the Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, and representatives from Cross Keys Homes to see the start of work on 200 new homes there.
Peterborough is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and we are actively working with our partners to deliver quality affordable accomodation.
Tomorrow (Friday) sees the unveiling of the much-anticipated Sir Antony Gormley statues in the city centre. And finally, Saturday sees the Lido opening its doors for the summer.