Over the past week we’ve had two definitive signs that winter is well and truly on its way writes Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich.
The first was the clocks going back at the weekend and the darker evenings, and the second was the mention of frosty mornings on the weather forecast. If you haven’t put the heating on at home yet, now’s the time to adjust the thermostat and beat the winter chill.
And, if you’re one of the millions of UK households that haven’t switched energy providers in the past year, I’d like to make a suggestion that could save you a considerable amount of money this winter.
Peterborough Energy (delivered in partnership with energy supplier OVO) is the council’s energy tariff available exclusively for city residents.
Over 10 per cent of the city have made the switch over the past two or so years, saving more than £1million between them.
When I switched over three years ago, I saved £300 off my annual fuel bill and continue to make savings each year. Just search for Peterborough Energy online, or arrange a free home visit by calling 01733 642272.
At a time when our budget is plummeting it’s these kind of innovative partnerships which have enabled us to continue delivering great opportunities for our residents, saving them money in the case of Peterborough Energy.
Other successful partnerships include the joint venture we are part of which has led the comprehensive £120million Fletton Quays redevelopment project - a site which laid vastly underused for decades.
By working with organisations such as Vivacity we’re able to offer fantastic leisure and cultural opportunities in the city and our partnership with CityFibre is delivering internet speeds faster than the UK average.
We’ll be looking for more opportunities in the coming year which will allow us to keep standards high and ensure Peterborough is a great place to live, work and visit, whilst making the savings that we need to in order to balance our budget books.
Work started this week on the installation of public artworks on Lower Bridge Street to celebrate the life and work of Henry Penn.
Henry Penn was an important local figure who had a foundry at this site near the river over 300 years ago. His works include the hour bell at Peterborough Cathedral which is still in use today, and he was one of the first prominent businessmen in the city.
There will be four pieces of public art, including sculptures, an information panel, three timber posts with riverside themed carvings and a timber raised planter - all with a bell theme.
This is part of a £2.1 million project funded by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership to improve the look and feel of Lower Bridge Street. Keep a watch out over the coming weeks to see them installed and please let me know what you think of them when they are finished.
Also taking place this week is work to install new flag poles in Bridge Street, which are being relocated from the Town Hall roof.
These new flagpoles - the Union Flag, the St George’s Cross and the Peterborough Armorial Crest - will be easier to access and more visible to people on the ground.
This is especially important during national events of significance, such as next weekend.
The Union Flag will fly at full mast on both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.
This is to remember those who sacrificed their lives to ensure the flag can be flown full and proud over the entire UK.
If you’ve ever had the flu, you’ll know that it can completely knock you out for at least a week, and that’s if you’re fit and healthy.
For those with long-term health problems, the elderly, small children and pregnant women it can be far more serious.
Each winter over 8,000 people die from the common flu, a sobering thought in this modern day and age.
This number is entirely preventable simply by spending five minutes getting a free vaccination.
I was one of the 46.3 per cent in Peterborough who had their vaccine last year and I’ve done so again this year.
I would urge anyone who is eligible for a free vaccination to contact their local GP, pharmacist or midwife for more information.
Visit the NHS Staywell website for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.