Credit where it’s due... this is progress
The city council came in for heavy criticism when it hired ‘guards’ to keep homeless people away from St Peter’s Arcade in 2016. It was a heavy-handed tactic. But it was a tricky problem... businesses were understandably concerned about people sleeping rough in their doorways while many citizens were sympathetic to people struggling to find shelter and wanted to see them helped. This week a new scheme has been launched that allows ‘contactless’ card donations to a project that supports homeless people and offers a solution (page 19). Concerned members of the public can donate in good conscience and the money will directly help people living on Peterborough’s streets. Credit where it’s due, it’s a creative idea, and it is some progress on a problem that is concerning most towns and cities - not just Peterborough.
On the subject of things the city council has deservedly been criticised for, officials joined politicians at a meeting with residents of St Michael’s Gate (pages 12&13). The issues that had been raised over weeks and months by the PT were aired by residents, education professionals and senior politicians. Council officials promised action. We will turn a blind eye to the fact that they seemed surprised by some of the problems when they have previously been so widely reported by us. But credit to the officers and cabinet member Wayne Fitzgerald for attending the meeting in person and listening. Credit to them for promising action and support for that community on a number of fronts. It’s badly needed but, it too, is progress.