It is little over one month until city council elections take place on 3 May and I am pleased to confirm that Peterborough is one of eight areas in England to take part in a Voter Pilot scheme to help combat electoral fraud.
We chose to be part of the initiative as we have a national reputation for our sterling work in deferring electoral fraud at elections in previous years.
The scheme has been launched by the Cabinet Office and will see us bring in tougher measures to strengthen our postal and proxy voter process.
These include officers hand delivering postal voting packs and completing face to face surveys with postal voters to stress the importance of completing the vote themselves.
The proxy vote is being strengthened, with all proxy voters required to produce photographic identification at polling stations, before being issued with a ballot paper to vote on another’s behalf.
It gave me great pleasure this week to see Westcombe Engineering given national recognition in this year’s Parliamentary Review
The Parliamentary Review showcases best practice that has been seen in the public and private sector in the past year.
Westcombe Engineering has given disabled people in Peterborough active employment opportunities since it launched in 1970 and is one of the city’s big innovation success stories.
For those of you not familiar with the company, it’s a precision engineering specialist with a difference. As well as creating machined components for a wide range of industries, it also equips disabled workers with the skills needed to pursue careers in the wider economy
To give some context to its success, Westcombe Engineering has seen sales over the last two years rise by 40 per cent and it has significantly expanded its customer base.
This council-owned business is a great example of what companies can achieve when they place corporate social responsibility at the heart of everything they do.
Rt Hon. David Curry (centre) with Andrew Lesiw and Elisa Bradley from Westcombe Engineering
Key to its success are its skilled, committed and loyal workforce, which gain as much from the business as what they bring to it. This two-way mutually beneficial relationship was something which was realised keenly by its founder, the late Royce W. Westcombe as the ideal business model and is why the business is being showcased as a national example of best practice.
At present it employs 20 people, 13 of which have disabilities, and it has a turnover in excess of £1.5 million.