From time to time you get a news story that gets people hot under the collar. It seems last week’s plea from the council for more considerate parking during the school run was one of those stories.
Articles on the PT online and posted on our own social media pages led to streams of comments from people lamenting the chaos which ensues outside many of our schools at either the start or end of each school day.
Some blamed the parents for inconsiderate and dangerous parking, others said it was ruining the area they live in and a good few reminisced on having to walk miles to school when they were a child.
The fact is that we all lead busy lives and often the temptation to take an easier option to save a few minutes here and there is hard to resist.
Since we published our second phase budget proposals at the end of last month quite a few people have asked me about the proposed rise in council tax and how this relates to adult social care funding.
Nationally, adult social care is facing unprecedented pressure resulting from the needs of an ageing population, reducing budgets and increasing costs of care; the situation in Peterborough is no different.
To put it in figures, our city council has to deal with financial pressures on adult social care of over £2.3million next year due to increased factors including cost, demand and complexity of need.
We also have to rapidly prepare for the future as analysis of the Peterborough population indicates an increase of 17 per cent by 2021, of which people aged 85 and over are expected to increase by 40 per cent and those aged 55 and over by 26 per cent.
At the beginning of the year I made a commitment to look at whether there is anything further we could do to prevent people becoming homeless or to encourage rough sleepers to accept our support.
To that end I set up a cross-party rough sleeping task and finish group, led by Independent -Werrington First councillor Stephen Lane, which last week began its investigations by going on a walkabout of the city centre to see the issues first hand.
After hearing about the support our housing team currently provides and the shelter accommodation offered by Axiom Housing Association and faith groups as part of the Light Project, they went out onto the streets of the city centre to speak to people who are sleeping rough.
Last week we published our final set of proposals which set out how we will close a £28million gap in our 2017/18 budget whilst investing in services and the city’s infrastructure.
Every year we face the challenge of managing increasing demands on services with a reducing amount of money. And this year has been no different.
But I’m pleased to say that for a further year we are proposing a balanced budget without any reductions to services. Instead we are investing in the services which are most important to our residents and supporting the continued growth of the city.