Our city is built on a long history of migration. We are diverse, vibrant and proud to celebrate our differences as together these are the things that unites us.
Because of this, we are a welcoming city and on the whole I think that people from different backgrounds get on well together. You only have to attend one of the many cultural festivals we host in the city each year, such as the Italian or Diwali events, to see that. But of course there is more we can all do to bring people together to break down barriers.
Last year we were recognised for our community work by the government, who invited Peterborough to be one of five areas to take part in its integrated communities strategy, to improve and showcase successful integration across the UK.
As part of this, we’ve just launched the Peterborough Communities Fund which is an opportunity for people to make a real difference in their community.
Local groups and organisations can apply for funds to deliver projects that bring our communities together, whatever their background, race or religion.
People can apply for grants of up to £20,000 – but we’re equally happy if you just need a few hundred pounds; we know that often just a small amount of funding can make a huge difference.
Applications are invited from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors and we also welcome joint bids from groups who want to bring communities together. Ideas that have the potential to run and run are particularly welcome. (more…)
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is now less than two weeks away, but then again 2018 has flown by at some pace.
If like me you leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute, then I’m sure the next few days will be busy as you prepare for the big day.
Please do be aware, however, that over the Christmas and New Year period, our council offices will be closing their doors.
Our main offices, including Sand Martin House, Bayard Place and the Town Hall will be closed from noon on Monday 24 December until Wednesday 2 January 2019, with no face-to-face services available.
However, the council’s call centre will open from Thursday 27 December to Monday 31 December between the hours of 9am and 5pm and there will also be support in place for key services.
Our office buildings and call centre will open as usual on January 2.
The other key change to remember is that black and green bin collection days alter between Christmas and New Year. Full details about office closures and bin collection changes available here. (more…)
This week we received three sizeable pots of money from Central Government.
Our bid for £1million to become an Integrated Pilot Area was successful. It will boost opportunities for young people, improve opportunities for work and continue to develop community cohesion.
We’ve also received £1.5million of funding to improve our roads after last year’s bashing from the ‘Beast from the East’.
Lastly, we’ve teamed up with eight local authorities and AgilityEco to secure £6.5million to install central heating for the first time in up to 1,500 homes, including those at St Michael’s Gate.
Not bad for just a week, let’s hope next week is the same!
Christmas lights switch-on
With the clocks going back, temperatures dipping and being greeted by frozen car windscreens in the mornings, this week has certainly felt a lot like winter!
However, one of the best things about this time of year is the build up to Christmas beginning, which leads me nicely on to a big event coming up soon.
Our annual Christmas lights switch-on always attracts huge crowds to the city centre and I’m sure this year’s occasion will be no different.
The event takes place on Friday November 16 with a fun-filled lineup of entertainment from 4pm until 8pm which all the family can come and enjoy.
This is the first time it has been held on a Friday, so make a date in your diary and why not combine it with some Christmas shopping or a nice meal out?
The big switch-on is happening at 7.30pm when myself and the city Mayor will be joined by Father Christmas (how does he find the time right now?) to press the button.
Once the city centre is beautifully lit up, the evening will be rounded off with a burst of fireworks.
I was delighted to hear that the organisation responsible for improving skills in the construction industry is to move its head office to Peterborough.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is working with Opportunity Peterborough to secure a premises in the city for its new HQ in an effort to bring colleagues and customers closer together.
The agency hopes it will be able to sign a lease later this year with the move completed by January 2020.
It was heartening to hear the CITB’s chief executive state that Peterborough was its preferred location because it is a diverse city with a strong talent pool, a generous supply of modern, sustainable office facilities, supported by excellent road and rail links.
Listening to residents and acting on their concerns is a crucial part of the role for the city council’s cabinet, not least during the consultation period on our annual budget proposals.
Yes, we are having to make tough decisions on some services due to a severe cut in Government funding, but we will always try to do our best to meet the needs of the community when they approach us for support.
In the case of Bretton Water Park, I am delighted that a solution has been agreed to prevent us from having to close the facility.
Vivacity have offered to run this popular facility during the summer months and the organisation is ideally placed to do this as they also look after a number of other leisure and sports sites in the city.