This week the council and its partner Amey have announced their intention to end the waste and recycling contract and establish a new way of providing services.
It’s one of a number of budget proposals for 2017/18 announced tomorrow (Friday) which, including measures agreed at the end of last year, look to save around £28million to allow us to deliver a balanced budget in times of increasing demands for services and ever reducing government funding.
It’s too early to say how waste and recycling services will be provided in the future, but it is likely to be a joint venture partnership with a private organisation. What’s important is that any new arrangement will allow the council more control over how services are provided and ensure that a percentage of commercial income generated is returned to us to provide services for residents.
The matter of homelessness and rough sleeping is a topic that has attracted significant interest in the media in recent weeks.
It’s an important and sensitive issue not just on a local level, but also on the regional and national agenda. I want to take this opportunity to talk about it a little more and some new initiatives we are working towards.
In Peterborough it is estimated there are 21 people sleeping rough, up from 15 last year. Nationally, the 2015 rough sleeping count showed that 3,569 people were rough sleeping in England on a single night, up 102 per cent from 2010. This figure is expected to rise for 2016.
Responsibility for the management of rough sleepers in Peterborough and the support services available to them sits within our Housing Needs department. They work closely with the Prevention and Enforcement Service and our partner agencies including the police. We have a dedicated rough sleeper outreach worker who is currently working with 16 rough sleepers in an attempt to get them off the streets and into appropriate and safe accommodation.
In December I made a commitment to leave no stone unturned in the city’s challenge to raise educational attainment.
It’s for this reason I’m pleased to announce that we are investing £150,000 in a partnership with a city-based not-for-profit organisation, Success for All, who will be working with a number of our schools.
Success for All works with more than 60,000 children in more than 130 schools across the UK which face similar challenges to schools in Peterborough. They do this by transforming the way children learn, encouraging pupils to work more collaboratively and changing the way teachers interact with pupils in the classroom.
As this is my first column of the year I’d like to wish residents all the best for a happy and prosperous 2017.
There is always a lot going on in Peterborough and I believe that the next 12 months will be no different, with many exciting developments and subjects to focus on.
I think we can all agree that this city has waited long enough for the regeneration of North Westgate and I am committed to seeing this progress in 2017. We announced a few months ago that the council will invest £15million over the next three years to buy land and property so we can take a lead role in its comprehensive redevelopment.
While we are planning for the North Westgate scheme, on the other side of the city centre the planning has finished and work has begun on Fletton Quays. This £120million regeneration project will really begin to take shape over the next 12 months as works to transform the site start to build up steam.