Wide­spread back­ing to build the bridge

Po­lit­i­cal con­sen­sus for Flet­ton Quays de­vel­op­ment

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - PT CAMPAIGN - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

Po­lit­i­cal con­sen­sus at Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil is a rare thing th­ese days, but there was wide­spread sup­port last week for a new pedes­trian and cy­cle bridge to link the new Flet­ton Quays de­vel­op­ment with the Em­bank­ment.

How­ever, Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil leader Cllr John Holdich warned that gov­ern­ment cuts mean for now it’s a choice between fund­ing the bridge or look­ing af­ter chil­dren and older peo­ple.

The de­bate was set up by a mo­tion from Labour’s

Cllr Richard Fer­ris, but as he was un­able to at­tend his col- league Matthew Ma­habadi put the case for the bridge for­ward.

He said the pub­lic of­ten see coun­cil­lors as “buf­fet-guz­zling ir­rel­e­vants who don’t con­trib­ute any­thing to the qual­ity of life in this city.”

He ended by urg­ing fel­low mem­bers to de­liver “real and last­ing change” and give the city some­thing to be proud of.

Cllr Fer­ris’ mo­tion said the foot­bridge “should be con­structed” but an amend­ment from cab­i­net mem­ber for plan­ning Cllr Pe­ter Hiller, which was unan­i­mous- ly agreed, said the foot­bridge “should be con­sid­ered” as part of the coun­cil’s fu­ture bud­gets.

The Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph’s ‘Build the Bridge’ cam­paign was men­tioned dur­ing the de­bate. Deputy leader Cllr Wayne Fitzger­ald said the PT and op­po­si­tion coun­cil­lors were “jump­ing on the band­wagon” with the Con­ser­va­tives hav­ing led the way on putting in plans for a bridge. Coun­cil­lors said putting the new Univer­sity of Peter­bor­ough main cam­pus at the Em­bank­ment would be a cat­a­lyst for build­ing the bridge.

They also said it would re­duce traf­fic near Flet­ton Quays, which will have 280 homes, of­fices, a ho­tel and restau­rants, and that it would be a good link between the new arts hub at the site and the Key The­atre.

Cllr Holdich said the Cam­bridgeshire and Peter­bor­ough Com­bined Author­ity, which he is deputy mayor of, will not fund the foot­bridge.

In­stead, he said, the author­ity will spend its in­fras­truc­ture money on bring­ing in “jobs, hous­ing and in­dus­try to the city.”

The site of the pro­posed bridge over River Nene from the South Bank

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