Council eases St Michael’s fears

Last week the Peterborough Telegraph reported on concerns raised by councillors and city MP Fiona Onasanya around accommodation at St Michael’s Gate.

This week we met with ward councillors who brought us up to speed with why some residents feel dissatisfied with their accommodation. This was a very productive meeting and we were able to give these councillors information which proved that some of the concerns were unfounded.

Residents are allowed to change energy providers, they are allowed to use wifi and it is the council that pays £245 for accommodation, rather than the tenant themselves. The cost to the council is less than half what would be charged for B&B style accommodation. In regards to the suitability of the building and its heating, our housing enforcement officers will begin visiting every property at St Michael’s Gate in person starting from next week. Full housing assessments will take place and if any issues are discovered we will work with housing firm Stef & Philips to remedy them quickly.

We have given our assurance to the ward councillors attending the meeting that we will keep them closely updated on this. We would have liked to offer the same assurance to the city’s MP, however she was unavailable and could not attend the meeting.

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Caring for city’s homeless people

This week we took an important step in improving the standard of temporary housing we provide to homeless households in our city for years to come.

On top of doubling the amount of temporary accommodation in the last 12 months, a decision was made at Monday’s city council cabinet meeting to allocate £4million to invest in temporary housing in Peterborough.

This decision will reduce the number of homeless families accommodated in bed and breakfast-style accommodation, with the aim of stopping the use of Travelodge accommodation.

The accommodation we will purchase, through Medesham Homes (a joint property development company operated by the council and Cross Keys Homes) includes 29 new homes in Midland Road and 40 in Bretton Court. The first of these homes will be renovated and available for families to use this summer.

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Still a fan half a century later

Before I write about anything else in my first blog of 2018, I would like to say a huge well done to Peterborough United for a fantastic game at the weekend.

I took the journey to the Villa Park ground with my grandsons on Saturday fully expecting an entertaining game, and by the time the first half ended, it was clear it would be just that.

All the players really stepped up and delivered a superb team performance, with Jack Marriott and Ryan Tafazolli delivering a perfect header from the corner to secure a 3-1 win.

My grandson Lewis went as far as to say it was the best football match he’d ever seen. Let’s hope he sees an even better one against Fleetwood or Leicester at the end of the month.

New developments

Sticking with the POSH theme, it’s a little known fact that my wife Barbara and I went on our first date together at the London Road ground just over 54 years ago. It was a memorable date for many reasons and we’ve been POSH fans ever since.

We got married in 1964 and just a few years into married life, I remember hearing exciting plans for a new development at North Westgate, a promising area near to the train station.

NorthWestgateDevelopmentMapView

Over the years many developers have come forward with big ideas on how to regenerate this site, which lies in an important location but is very much under-used, none of which have come to fruition.

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