Increasing demand on roads and refuse collection comes at a cost

Peterborough has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, creating additional demands on bins and highways, at a time when government funding is falling.

In the last eight years, an additional 7,000 homes have been built in the city - that all require at least two bin collections each. And since 2013, the city now has 17 miles of additional roads, 12 miles of additional cycle routes, 7 miles of additional footpaths and 3,248 more street lights to cater for extra traffic and footfall.

During this same period, revenue budgets have decreased by £1.4million for Peterborough Highways - a partnership between the city council and Skanska - falling from £11.1m to £9.7m.

It’s a similar picture for refuse and recycling collections.

Councillor John Holdich, leader of the council, said: “We are increasingly having to do more with less money from government.

“We have a duty to maintain the highway network in Peterborough so it is in a safe condition for all road users and this is why a five year rolling programme to resurface the parkway network commenced last year, at a cost of £7.5 million. This vital infrastructure is there to make our day-to-day lives both easier and safer.

"Our investment is also in lighting. A three year project to upgrade 17,000 street lights to energy efficient LEDs is due to finish in 2019 and expected to achieve financial savings of £8.46 million over the next 20 years. This will make a significant difference.

“However, we cannot continue making investments such as this unless we receive fairer funding from government.

"We have seen a 13 per cent reduction in revenue budgets from the government for highway services in the last five years and if we don’t see a change in our funding, then there will inevitably be cuts to front-line services in the future, so please Stand Up For Peterborough and pledge your support to the campaign."

Councillor Gavin Elsey, cabinet member for waste and street scene, added: "We are now collecting around 15,000 more bins than we were eight years ago. These extra collections come at a cost of just under £220,000 each year. In addition, we are collecting food waste from 71,000 homes.

"The demand on waste collection is increasing all the time and we are actively encouraging residents to dispose of waste more effectively to support our collection team. However we need more funding to cope with demand and our allocation from government is reducing so it is time to Stand Up for Peterborough and protect vital services such as this."

Since the government’s austerity programme began in 2010 the amount of funding that all councils receive has fallen at an alarming rate.

In 2013/14 the city council received £55 million in Revenue Support Grant, the government grant which supports a range of council services, and this will have reduced to just £15 million in 2018/19 and then £10 million in 2019/20. That will be a reduction of 80 per cent over seven years.

The Stand Up For Peterborough campaign asks council staff, residents, businesses and all other interested groups to support the campaign and 'Stand Up For Peterborough'.

People can pledge their support for the campaign by visiting the Stand Up For Peterborough page and completing an online comment form or by writing to Councillor John Holdich, Peterborough City Council, Bridge Street, Peterborough, PE1 1HL.

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