Pacy at­tack to achieve our goals

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - TOWN HALL VIEW - John Holdich

Last week we launched a con­sul­ta­tion on the sec­ond part of our bud­get for the next fi­nan­cial year, out­lin­ing how we plan to de­liver sav­ings against a se­verely chal­leng­ing back­drop.

Con­tin­ued re­duc­tions to the coun­cil’s rev­enue sup­port grant from cen­tral gov­ern­ment, in­fla­tion and huge de­mand pres­sures mean we are be­ing asked to do much more, with much less money.

I know peo­ple have been as­tounded by the sums we cur­rently spend on adult so­cial care (£67.7 mil­lion) but that’s be­cause the de­mand for this is ris­ing due to an age­ing pop­u­la­tion, and pro­tect­ing vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple is a pri­or­ity for us.

We make no bones about it, the chal­lenges fac­ing us are sub­stan­tial. But, as the bud­get pro­pos­als out­line, we are ac- tively work­ing to make sav­ings whilst fo­cus­ing on what re­ally mat­ters - pro­tect­ing vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple and pri- ori­tis­ing spend­ing on ar­eas that will en­sure Peter­bor­ough con­tin­ues to be a place to be proud of. We plan to make sav­ings through closer work­ing with Cam­bridgeshire County Coun­cil and other lo­cal au- thor­i­ties, trans­fer­ring more as­sets into com­mu­nity own- er­ship and mak­ing changes to the sup­port we pro­vide to city res­i­dents.

Please don’t miss the chance to have your say on our pro­pos­als. You can do this by read­ing the Tranche Two bud­get doc­u­ment and com­plet­ing an on­line con­sul­ta­tion ques­tion­naire.

Hard copies of the bud­get pro­pos­als doc­u­ment and ques­tion­naire will be avail­able at Town Hall and Ba­yard Place re­cep­tions, and in each of the city’s li­braries. The dead­line for re­sponses is 5pm on Novem­ber 30.

Ear­lier this year we an­nounced our ini­tial plans to re­de­velop North West­gate, with a con­cept scheme de­vel­oped by Norr Ar­chi­tects.

I’m pleased to re­port that progress is con­tin­u­ing at pace, with lo­cal firms LDA De­sign and Barker Storey Matthews of­fer­ing their ex­per­tise to help us move for­ward. The next stage of the process will see a coun­cil-led de­sign work­shop take place in Novem­ber, to which all ma­jor landown­ers will be in­vited. We will work to­gether to reach an agree­ment on the site’s key com­po­nents and draw up a de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme.

Street home­less­ness is an is­sue that has in­creased in re­cent years and some­thing we are ac­tively work­ing to ad­dress. Yes­ter­day we launched a new cam­paign called ‘Safer Off the Streets’ aimed at end­ing street home­less­ness in the city once and for all.

The scheme fea­tures a num­ber of ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing a new con­tact­less card win­dow which will be placed out­side the Argo Lounge in St Peter’s Ar­cade, al­low­ing peo­ple to make in­stant £3 do­na­tions. A web­site will be set up (www.safer­offthestreets. where do­na­tions can also be made, and col­lec­tion boxes will be placed in city cen­tre lo­ca­tions. We do not want peo­ple to suf­fer on our streets, we want to help them re­build their lives, and gain homes and jobs.

We also re­alise that mem­bers of the pub­lic want to help too, but may have been un­sure how to go about this. That’s why I think this cam­paign is a fan­tas­tic idea - it gives peo­ple clear and prac­ti­cal ways to help, and I’m con­fi­dent it will make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence.

OnSatur­dayIen­joye­da­trip to Meadow Lane foot­ball sta­dium in Not­ting­ham as a spe­cial guest of the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, to watch the Women’s In­ter­na­tional friendly be­tween Eng­land and Brazil. It was a crack­ing game, and I dare say the en­ter­tain­ment was bet­ter than Posh pro­duced that day!

I was in­vited as part of our city’s bid to host Women’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship matches at the Abax Sta­dium in 2021.

Peter­bor­ough has al­ready been suc­cess­ful in its bid with the FA to be one of the eight host cities for the cham­pi­onships, we are now wait­ing on the bid that UEFA have re­ceived from the FA to be the host coun­try and will find out the re­sult in De­cem­ber. This would be a tremen­dous achieve­ment for the city.

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil leader gives his view on the coun­cil and news and is­sues af­fect­ing you...

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