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Council launches social media poll to gauge opinion on Cathedral Square fountains

31 May 2023

Residents are being asked to give their views on whether to continue spending money on the Cathedral Square fountains which this year could be in excess of £35,000.

Council Leader, Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, has posed the question to residents via a poll on the council’s social media pages.

Every year the council spends around £20,000 to cover the annual running costs including routine maintenance, water testing and the cost of water and chemicals.

However, it has been identified that at least an additional £15,000 would need to be spent this year to get the fountains working. This is for an upgrade to the dousing unit system and pump which maintains the correct chemical balance and other works needed to the pit room.

Residents are now being asked to give their views.

Councillor Fitzgerald said: “We have seen in the past couple of years that the fountains are becoming more prone to faltering and of course they require new parts which are often costly. This is partly because the fountains are now 13-years-old and, like an old car, they require more maintenance.

“For all intents and purposes, we are now a financially sustainable council, which means that we are living within our means. To get to this point, we have had to look very hard at every penny that we spend and question whether it’s a good use of taxpayers’ money.

“This is now the situation that we face with the Cathedral Square fountains.

“I know that there are many people who like them, indeed I do - and many children too – and it makes our city centre look attractive, but on the flipside, they are becoming more costly to operate and this will only continue.

“So, we want to throw the question open to you, the public. Do you love them or not? Should we keep the fountains in good order and get them back up and running this year or should we keep them switched off?”

The poll will run on the council’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages from today (Wednesday, 31 May) until the end of Wednesday, 7 June. People can also email us at asktheleader@peterborough.gov.uk.