One topic that caused a lot of conversation in Peterborough recently was a plan for an ‘urban beach’ as part of the Fletton Quays development.
The story gathered plenty of reaction after being picked up by the local media, perhaps understandably given I’m pretty sure the words Peterborough and beach have never been mentioned in the same sentence before!
To make it clear, should this proposal for an ‘urban beach’ go ahead it would be funded by Weston Homes, the company behind the build of the apartments at Fletton Quays, and not the city council – as people may have been initially led to believe.
You may have seen in the news this week, that the viability of a rapid transport system in Peterborough is going to be considered.
Last week the board of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority agreed to start work on a report to look in to the possibility of a new metro system in Cambridge.
At this stage all we will be doing is taking into account a number of factors, such as improving connections from one area of the city to another, and considering whether this system could potentially work in Peterborough.
It’s far too early for anyone to say what the outcome will be, but I think it is only right that we consider what sort of transport systems the city may need in years to come.
Last week we announced the final part of our consultation to deliver a balanced budget for the year ahead.
Our financial situation and the challenges we are facing are well documented, but worth re-emphasising.
We are working to close a £24 million gap and protect the council’s long term financial health from further cuts in government funding.
Having looked extensively at all possible options for savings and income generation, we are regrettably having to consider more difficult decisions, such as raising council tax.
In last week’s column I focused on the work we are doing to help homeless families in the city by pledging £4 million to provide new homes in Midland Road and Bretton Court.
I also highlighted how we are actively working with residents in St Michael’s Gate to help address any issues they are having with their accomodation.
This leads me on to the excellent work we have done to bring over a quarter of empty homes in the city back into use over the past 12 months.
Of the 574 privately-owned properties in the city that have been empty for more than six months, 31 per cent (179 empty homes) were brought back into use last year as part of our Empty Homes strategy.