Over the past week we’ve had two definitive signs that winter is well and truly on its way.
The first was the clocks going back at the weekend and the darker evenings and the second was the mention of frosty mornings on the weather forecast. If you haven’t put the heating on at home yet, now’s the time to adjust the thermostat and beat the winter chill.
And if you’re one of the millions of UK households that haven’t switched energy providers in the past year, I’d like to make a suggestion that could save you a considerable amount of money this winter.
When I switched over three years ago, I saved £300 off my annual fuel bill and continue to make savings each year. Just search for Peterborough Energy online, or arrange a free home visit by calling 01733 642272.
At a time when our budget is plummeting it’s these kind of innovative partnerships which have enabled us to continue delivering great opportunities for our residents, saving them money in the case of Peterborough Energy.
In December I made a commitment to leave no stone unturned in the city’s challenge to raise educational attainment.
It’s for this reason I’m pleased to announce that we are investing £150,000 in a partnership with a city-based not-for-profit organisation, Success for All, who will be working with a number of our schools.
Success for All works with more than 60,000 children in more than 130 schools across the UK which face similar challenges to schools in Peterborough. They do this by transforming the way children learn, encouraging pupils to work more collaboratively and changing the way teachers interact with pupils in the classroom.
This week we announced that four of our parks and open spaces have been praised as amongst the best in the country.
Central Park on Park Road, Itter Park in Walton, Manor Farm Park in Eye and Victoria Gardens in Millfield have all received Green Flags – a sign that they boast the highest possible standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent facilities.
It’s great news for Central Park in particular, which has now been flying the flag for 14 years. I’m not surprised – it’s home to a wonderful selection of plants and trees, a great play area and paddling pool for the children, the lovely Buttercross tearoom and of course the bowling green and tennis courts. Above all else it is tidy and attractive thanks to our colleagues at Amey who manage the park, and all our open spaces, on our behalf.
Amey works hard to keep our city looking clean and tidy, but there is still a minority who choose to undo its good work and litter, graffiti or dump waste illegally.
That’s why I have made it easier for residents to call and report issues, so that we can investigate and catch the perpetrators.
The school summer holidays can seem like endless fun when you’re young, but they can be challenging if you’re the one responsible for keeping the children entertained.
If you’re two weeks in and wondering how you’re going to survive the next month, don’t worry, there’s lots happening in the city.
If you’re looking for something educational, the National Literacy Trust’s pop-up literacy hub on Bridge Street is worth a visit. Children can design posters, help write a Peterborough family cookbook, read a story in the book corner or take part in arts and crafts.
The pop-up shop is a great idea and builds on the excellent work of the National Literacy Trust which has contributed to a marked increase in the number of primary school children that enjoy reading.
Just across the road at Peterborough Museum they’re celebrating the works of Roald Dahl with a programme of events that includes the chance to explore outer space, make your own chocolate creation or have a go at circus skills.
If you’d like to get the children outdoors then Travelchoice’s summer fiesta could be the answer. Still to come is an outdoor cycle cinema showing of Disney Pixar’s Inside Out at Hampton on Saturday, followed by a carshare cinema screening of the latest Star Wars film at Peterborough Garden Park on 12 August. All the events are free and encourage people to use their cars less and walk, cycle or use other forms of transport that are less harmful to the environment.
The Travelchoice team will also be at PECT’s Green Festival on 13 August offering you the chance to make your own boats out of recycled materials or battle it out in a Rollapaluza cycle sprint.
One of the most exciting events is the Celebration of Youth Day organised by the local branch of the YMCA which is taking place in Cathedral Square on 21 August. There is an enormous amount of talent amongst our young people which I see all the time at events such as the recent children’s film awards. This event is a fantastic way to give our young people the chance to show off their talents and for others to be inspired to develop their skills to achieve great things.
I hope I’ve provided you with some inspiration – I’ve only just scratched the surface. In addition, the Key Theatre will be hosting Key Youth Theatre’s summer musical, you can travel back 3,500 years with a visit to Flag Fen and the Lido is great on a sunny day. Ferry Meadows is a fun day out too.