With the national lockdown ending this week and Peterborough moving into Tier Two of the new system, our efforts to control the spread of Coronavirus are continuing in earnest.
Rates of the virus across Peterborough remain high – they’re not reducing at the same rate as many other areas – so we are doing everything we can to get our residents and businesses to pull together to stop Covid in its tracks.
One of the most visible ways we are making a difference is through our dedicated team of Covid marshals.
Ten marshals have been out on patrol in hotspot areas over the past month, speaking to residents, shoppers and businesses, offering advice and guidance about the national safety rules and explaining how people can keep themselves and others safe.
Twenty new marshals joined the team on Monday to increase the amount of time spent engaging with people in those areas where there is a higher prevalence of Covid.
The marshals have been a really positive addition for us, offering a reassuring presence in our communities and providing us with valuable feedback. Police patrols are taking place daily as well, with enforcement action taken when needed.
We are also working with a large number of community organisations such as Age UK and Youth Inspired, faith groups and others to make sure as many people as possible are getting advice. We are translating key messages into other languages and working with community leaders to spread the word widely.
Other measures include advertising public health advice on information boards, lamp posts and roundabouts, using an LED van to share messages, radio advertising, supporting businesses to ensure they are operating safely and allowing staff to work from home. And don’t be surprised if you get a message pop up on your mobile phone when you’re out and about, as we’re trialling text message advertising too.
So as you can see, we have lots going on, but we need your help to control the spread of the virus.
Please remember to only meet indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble. You can now meet with up to six people who you do not live with outdoors whilst keeping your distance.
As ever, you can rest assured that we will continue to work hard to keep you safe and to keep the city moving forward.
Christmas switch-on brings out festive spirit
I can’t believe there are just over three weeks until Christmas, but the sight of decorations going up and Yuletide songs on the radio is getting me into the festive spirit!
On that note, watching our virtual Christmas lights switch-on this week really warmed my heart.
We couldn’t hold a public event this year due to the pandemic, but we still wanted to give residents a festive treat and streamed a pre-recorded event on our social media channels.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, please get online and have a look back – the video is on the Peterborough City Council YouTube channel. In some ways this switch-on was even more poignant than usual because it’s been such a tough year.
With our Christmas lights up and the city centre looking lovely, don’t forget that shops are re-open so please make the most of them – we all have a part to play in helping the local economy continue to recover.
When out shopping, remember to wear face coverings indoors, wash your hands and try to avoid places that are crowded.
Plans for new regional swimming pool in development
Ensuring that Peterborough continues to be an attractive place to live, work and play is a key aim for the council.
We’re always thinking ahead to future challenges, one of which is providing first class leisure facilities for a growing city.
This week our plans to develop a new regional swimming pool moved a step closer, with cabinet approving initial proposals for a facility at the Pleasure Fair Meadow car park. This would replace the current Regional Pool which is outdated, no longer cost effective and lacks capacity.
The new facility is anticipated to contain a brand new eight-lane 25m swimming pool with 300 spectator seats, a 15x10m teaching pool, a sauna and relaxation centre, a 150-station gym, three exercise studios and a cafe.
If funding is agreed by Full Council next week, the Peterborough Investment Partnership will work to progress the facility, which is another exciting part of our ambitious regeneration plans.
High praise for our Youth Offending Service
There are many unsung heroes working for the council and it’s great to shout about their achievements when the opportunity arises.
Our Youth Offending Service (YOS) has recently received high praise from HM Inspectorate of Probation following an inspection.
The team was praised for the way it deals with young offenders and the work it does to prevent them re-offending, so a big well done to everyone providing this valuable service.
Budget consultation ending Monday
Finally, a reminder that our public consultation on the first phase of our proposed budget for 2021/22 ends at 5pm on Monday.
If you haven’t had your say yet, please have a look on our website and tell us what you think. This is our most challenging budget to date, so it is vitally important to have your say.