Teamwork has been key to success
Peterborough City Council leader cllr John Holdich:
I was talking to a group of residents recently about what my first year as PCC Leader has been like, the difficulties we’d faced and how we’ve managed to successfully overcome each problem with prudent financial control, realistic goals and working as a disciplined team on behalf of you, the residents and tax-payers we are answerable to. I then started to outline some of the areas of improvement in our great city we’ve managed to make happen over the last few years, and the more I spoke about my passion for the place where we all live the more they spoke about things that had directly affected themselves and their families, and about what others had said to them about the Peterborough we live in today.
My Conservative administration now has the confidence of businesses, house builders and investors to both listen to their aspirations and act decisively when opportunities to improve and benefit our city present themselves.
Our unemployment rate is at its lowest since the 1990’s, our local businesses have added nearly 7,000 jobs to our Peterborough economy, we’re the 3rd fastest growing city in the UK and more of our schools are rated good and outstanding than ever before. The way our council works has changed immeasurably over the last few years too. We’ve had to think differently about how we deliver front line services and develop how we use our resources in ways unimaginable to those working in local government just a few years ago. Due to our professionalism and innovation we’re now able to gain significant income by selling legal, planning and regulatory services to other local authorities.
We’ve created excellent new joint venture relationships with partners to produce amongst other things, our own energy tariff which saves householders an average £250 off their annual energy bill. Since its launch one year ago, over 3,000 households have switched to its tariff, making a collective saving of £750,000 across the city.
We have brought forward hugely significant developments like our Fletton Quays’ homes, hotel, offices and leisure project, and created the UK’s most efficient new energy from waste plant, wherein nearly all the city’s non-recyclables are diverted away from environmentally destructive and expensive landfill sites. Our Highways Services contract with Skanska maintains our roads to a standard far better than most of our neighbours through innovative ways of working, utilising very sophisticated plant and machinery.
I’m also proud to be part of our council’s ongoing transformation of service delivery. A new team now sees council, police, fire and private sector staff working together under a joined up management structure. Already having a major impact, this team of 100 officers is overseen by a virtual control room and is designed to share powers, intelligence and capacity and give a quicker, more visible response to issues adversely affecting the quality of life of people living and working in city, such as illegal parking, littering and aggressive begging.
Many councils in the UK have closed children’s centres and libraries but, despite huge cuts, we’ve been able to keep them open and improve library access across the city.
You, the people, have told us what’s important to you and your families and we have listened and consistently produced results. We are protecting your services and facilities and helping Peterborough to grow sustainably and sensibly to protect all our futures.
Stop press! See separate article for exciting news regarding the Fletton Quays development.