If you’re one of the hundreds of young people across the city collecting your GCSE results today then I hope you achieved the grades you wanted.
This time last week young people picked up their A-level results and for the second year running they achieved more passes than the national average in Peterborough with an overall pass rate of 98.3 per cent.
It can be a nerve wracking time for young people and that doesn’t end when they find out how they’ve done. For many it’s just the beginning of working out what they want to do next, whether it’s remaining in education or training or entering the world of work.
If you read last week’s Peterborough Telegraph then you may have seen that online retailer Ocado is to open a distribution hub in the city creating up to 230 jobs.
The news is hot on the heels of high street giant House of Fraser receiving planning permission to build a distribution centre, generating up to 1,000 jobs.
We have a good track record in Peterborough for attracting new businesses and jobs. We’ve seen 373 per cent jobs growth during the past 100 years, ranking us second out of 57 cities in England and Wales.
In the past three years alone Peterborough businesses have added almost 7,000 jobs to our economy and our private sector jobs market is now one of the most buoyant nationally, helping to push unemployment rates to the lowest level since the early 1990s.
It’s certainly been a good few years, but this year is turning out to be exceptional, with 2,096 jobs announced so far. They’re from a real mix of industries too, including retail, food, healthcare and engineering.
This week we announced that four of our parks and open spaces have been praised as amongst the best in the country.
Central Park on Park Road, Itter Park in Walton, Manor Farm Park in Eye and Victoria Gardens in Millfield have all received Green Flags – a sign that they boast the highest possible standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent facilities.
It’s great news for Central Park in particular, which has now been flying the flag for 14 years. I’m not surprised – it’s home to a wonderful selection of plants and trees, a great play area and paddling pool for the children, the lovely Buttercross tearoom and of course the bowling green and tennis courts. Above all else it is tidy and attractive thanks to our colleagues at Amey who manage the park, and all our open spaces, on our behalf.
Amey works hard to keep our city looking clean and tidy, but there is still a minority who choose to undo its good work and litter, graffiti or dump waste illegally.
That’s why I have made it easier for residents to call and report issues, so that we can investigate and catch the perpetrators.
The school summer holidays can seem like endless fun when you’re young, but they can be challenging if you’re the one responsible for keeping the children entertained.
If you’re two weeks in and wondering how you’re going to survive the next month, don’t worry, there’s lots happening in the city.
If you’re looking for something educational, the National Literacy Trust’s pop-up literacy hub on Bridge Street is worth a visit. Children can design posters, help write a Peterborough family cookbook, read a story in the book corner or take part in arts and crafts.
The pop-up shop is a great idea and builds on the excellent work of the National Literacy Trust which has contributed to a marked increase in the number of primary school children that enjoy reading.
Just across the road at Peterborough Museum they’re celebrating the works of Roald Dahl with a programme of events that includes the chance to explore outer space, make your own chocolate creation or have a go at circus skills.
If you’d like to get the children outdoors then Travelchoice’s summer fiesta could be the answer. Still to come is an outdoor cycle cinema showing of Disney Pixar’s Inside Out at Hampton on Saturday, followed by a carshare cinema screening of the latest Star Wars film at Peterborough Garden Park on 12 August. All the events are free and encourage people to use their cars less and walk, cycle or use other forms of transport that are less harmful to the environment.
The Travelchoice team will also be at PECT’s Green Festival on 13 August offering you the chance to make your own boats out of recycled materials or battle it out in a Rollapaluza cycle sprint.
One of the most exciting events is the Celebration of Youth Day organised by the local branch of the YMCA which is taking place in Cathedral Square on 21 August. There is an enormous amount of talent amongst our young people which I see all the time at events such as the recent children’s film awards. This event is a fantastic way to give our young people the chance to show off their talents and for others to be inspired to develop their skills to achieve great things.
I hope I’ve provided you with some inspiration – I’ve only just scratched the surface. In addition, the Key Theatre will be hosting Key Youth Theatre’s summer musical, you can travel back 3,500 years with a visit to Flag Fen and the Lido is great on a sunny day. Ferry Meadows is a fun day out too.