This week we celebrated a momentous occasion and welcomed the first staff to our new local authority trading company.
Just before Christmas we made the landmark decision to set up our own company, Peterborough Limited, which I like to call the ‘people’s company’. It will deliver services for residents that were previously provided by Amey.
Bringing services such as waste and recycling and building cleaning back in house gives us greater control over how these services are provided and allows us to better monitor them so that they can constantly improve. It also allows us to provide better value for money.
We’re not bringing all of the services and 449 employees back from Amey into Peterborough Limited in one go, we are doing it in a phased approach to ensure that the best quality of service is maintained.
Building cleaning moved across on Monday and I was delighted to meet some of the staff at the Town Hall. They were all really excited about moving back to the council and the plans that we have to develop these services.
Waste and recycling collections and passenger transport will transfer on 1 April, followed by building maintenance, street cleansing and grounds maintenance on 4 May.
For residents there will be little obvious change, but we will be striving to ensure that all the services we provide are of the highest quality so that our city is clean and well maintained.
We will also be looking to commercialise the services that we provide, to add to the growing number of ways we are generating income to support our budget. I’ll be able to tell you more about that in the coming months. (more…)
Just a week ago, I took part in a momentous announcement which was live streamed across four social media networks.
Of course, I’m speaking about the news that Peterborough United will buy back the Abax Stadium from the Council.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties is a significant moment for the club and the city as a whole.
The MOU anticipates the sale to be finalised over the next six months and both the club and the council are committed to working together on this.
From a council perspective, I’m proud we were able to assist the club back in 2010 by buying the land surrounding the stadium to ensure its ownership stayed in the club which, in turn, secured the considerable contribution the club makes to the economy of the city.
The purchase unlocked the development of the area to create the Allia Future Business Centre where over 77 business have thrived. In addition the council has been able to secure one of the few zero carbon residential developments in the country on the Vista site as well as providing much needed affordable homes.
Now the club can move forward with developing the stadium as they look to gain promotion to the Championship.
I’m a Posh supporter myself and my wife Barbara and I went on our first date together at the ground just over 54 years ago, so the club means a lot to me and my family.
I’m sure this deal will help the club to make the progress that they and every single supporter so dearly desires as well as bringing new innovation to the area to support businesses, through the proposed Technology Accelerator – so all I can say is Up the Posh!!
Last week we launched a consultation on the second part of our budget for the next financial year, outlining how we plan to deliver savings against a severely challenging backdrop.
Continued reductions to the council’s revenue support grant from central government, inflation and huge demand pressures mean we are being asked to do much more, with much less money.
I know people have been astounded by the sums we currently spend on adult social care (£67.7 million) but that’s because the demand for this is rising due to an ageing population and protecting vulnerable people is a priority for us.
We make no bones about it, the challenges facing us are substantial.