Our city centre is a real source of pride for me. The work we’ve done in recent years has made it spacious and welcoming and I believe it’s never looked better.
The extensive transformation of Bridge Street through to Cathedral Square and Long Causeway has attracted significant new investment into the heart of our city.
We now have a vast array of new and attractive places for everyone to shop in, eat, have fun or just simply relax in.
And in case you’re thinking, ‘well, John would say that’ – it’s not just me who shares this view.
Last week, we received a phone call out of the blue from BBC Radio Kent, after its producer had visited Peterborough. He was thoroughly impressed with our city centre and described it as having a cafe culture look and feel, reminiscent of a European city.
He wanted us to talk on the radio station to share the secrets of our success, in the hope that these could be mirrored in Chatham.
Cabinet member councillor Marco Cereste spoke to the station on Monday about the work that we and our partners have done over the past decade to help revitalise the area.
He pointed out that ten years ago, the city centre would virtually shut down at 5pm and we have worked hard to inject some life into it after hours to attract more residents, visitors and businesses.
Not ones to be complacent, we’re currently in the process of setting up a Business Improvement District, which will help support and promote city centre shops.
All UK high streets have had a tough few years following the rise of online shopping, so please keep using them. For me, nothing beats browsing for an item in real life.
Household Recycling Centre opens in Fletton
This week saw the dawn of a new era for waste and recycling in Peterborough with the opening of our new Household Recycling Centre (HRC).
The state-of-the-art facility in Fengate is a huge improvement on its predecessor at Dogsthorpe and makes the process of getting rid of your unwanted items far quicker and easier.
It is more than double the size of the Dogsthorpe tip and has roof cover, improved vehicle access, plus there are no steps to climb up.
We are confident it will help boost the amount we can recycle and meet the growing volumes of waste generated by residents as our city grows.
Around 69 per cent of the waste that ended up at the Dogsthorpe site was recycled but we will be looking to push past 70 per cent at the new HRC.
The centre is free to use, open all year and I would encourage all residents with reusable items, recycling, garden waste or rubbish to make good use of it.
First civic penalty issued to law-breaking landlord
The vast majority of landlords in the city are law-abiding and offer a valuable service.
However, whenever our housing team comes across evidence of landlords breaking the law they will take action.
One recent case saw a landlord fined over £6,000 after renting out a property in Dogsthorpe Road with numerous safety hazards, including faulty wiring and rotting windows.
This case was unique because it was the first civil penalty issued by the council under new legislation, rather than going through the courts.
I would like to thank the team for their hard work on this case and I’m sure it will act as a warning to any landlords out there who think they are above the law.