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Leader Wayne Fitzgerald's blog - 18 August

17 August 2023

Making Peterborough an even better place to live work and play remains a key goal for the city and we’ve made great strides with this recently.

As a council, we’ve faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, but we’re actively moving forwards particularly with regards to our financial situation. We’re not out of the woods yet, but when I think how far we’ve come in a relatively short time, it fills me with pride.

Leading this Conservative-led administration, which has spearheaded much of our progress, is a great honour for me. However, the job is not an easy one I will admit and not without its political and personal challenges.

On a more positive note, we’re getting on with the job in hand and the next few years will see our historic city continue to grow with many exciting developments on the horizon.

One such scheme will see our train station and the area around it, known as the Station Quarter, dramatically enhanced, following a successful bid for £48 million of government funds. Key to the project is the creation of a new western entrance to the station with a car park – creating a double-sided station – with a new wider footbridge over the train lines.

This will alleviate pressure on city centre roads, making it easier and safer to travel around the city by foot or bike. Green areas with biodiversity, community spaces and better connections to the city centre will make it safer and more attractive for bikes and pedestrians too.

The project will improve rail passenger journeys and encourage more rail travel, which will have a positive economic impact on the city, and regionally, as the city is already well connected to key areas of East England and the rest of the UK.

In addition, it will support Peterborough in attracting knowledge-intensive and high-level employers through its improved transport links.

In other news, young people across Peterborough will be receiving their A-Level results this week and I would like to wish everyone the best of luck.

Once again, our city’s A-level students have worked extremely hard, and I would like to congratulate them all for their commitment and dedication.

Teachers, support staff, parents and families have played a vital role too – supporting, encouraging and inspiring our young people to do their very best.

I would also like to make young people aware that there is a range of help available for anyone who is unsure about their next steps and needs advice, whether that’s over future careers or further education opportunities. Anyone in need of careers advice can visit https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk or call their helpline on 0800 100 900. Anyone who is anxious or struggling can visit www.keep-your-head.com/cyp

We will also be promoting advice for young people on our social media channels.

This summer has already seen several exciting events taking place across the city and there are still plenty more to come.

This Sunday will see the first ‘Peterborough’s Strongest’ competition take place in Cathedral Square,

Organised by Peterborough Positive, in association with Royals Gym, it will consist of five events across four categories, including Women, Beginners, Novice, and Intermediate.

Spectators can watch for free, and the action begins at 11am. World Strongman Games athlete, Craig Candler, will be the competition’s head referee, with current International Powerlifting League (IPL) Bench Press world number 2, PJ Carter, taking to the floor as the event’s compare.

Organisers have got eyes on next year’s event already and hope to grow participation of athletes as well as local leisure clubs.

One of the city’s most-anticipated events is now less than one week away, with crowds set to flock to the Embankment for the annual Peterborough Beer Festival.

As usual there will be hundred of beers, ciders and wines available, as well as food stalls, activities and fun live music. You can find out more by visiting https://pborobeerfest.camra.org.uk/

Finally, what a performance from the Lionesses to get through to the World Cup Final on Sunday - I can’t wait to cheer them on!