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Leader Wayne Fitzgerald's blog - 27 October

27 October 2023

Last week I joined business leaders, politicians, community leaders and others from across the city for the annual Opportunity Peterborough Bondholder’s Dinner at our beautiful cathedral.

It was a great event as always and it was fantastic to see so much passion and enthusiasm in the room for our city and all that we continue to strive for and achieve.

As usual I was asked to give a speech and I spoke about the investment that my Conservative administration, with the support of our MPs Shailesh Vara and Paul Bristow, who were both in the room, have attracted in the past year and the many exciting projects which are underway.

In the last year alone, over £80million of Government investment has been secured for projects such as the station quarter redevelopment and the pedestrian bridge across the Nene at Fletton Quays.

This is being matched by private investors keen to benefit from our growth. It’s easy to see why, we are a pro-growth city - the second fastest growing in the UK.

My Conservative administration is delivering on its manifesto pledges to prosper and grow the city and there is plenty of evidence to support that.

My concern is that this growth and the progress we are seeing will ground to a halt if opposition members proceed with their plans to remove me as Leader of the Council next week.

My time as Leader of Peterborough City Council may be coming to an end for now, but as I said at last week’s Bondholders Dinner, I will continue to champion all that is great about our city, and I look forward with excitement to seeing the vision and schemes that I have been influential in taken forward to completion.

In other news, there are a few deadlines I’d like to make you aware of in the next week.

Firstly, if your child is moving up to secondary school next September, the deadline to apply for a school place is the end of next Tuesday (31 October).

For more information visit the council’s website – www.peterborough.gov.uk

You have more chance of securing a place at your school of choice if you apply on time. Also remember to make three choices, if you make just one choice and space is not available at that school our admissions team will have no choice but to allocate a space at another school which won’t be of your choice.

Our Budget Simulator has been getting people in the city thinking about council finances over the past month. It closes at the end of next Tuesday, so please have a go at balancing the council’s budget if you haven’t already.

For each council service included in the simulator there is a description explaining what it provides and looks to achieve. In addition, for each reduction or increase in spend there is an option to read about, or watch a video, about the consequences. The simulator also asks participants if they would be willing to pay above the 4.99% council tax increase that was agreed by members when the three-year Medium Term Financial Strategy was signed off in February.

Please take the time to think carefully about the challenge we are setting you and give us an idea of how you would tackle balancing our budget. We will be considering your responses as we look at how we will deliver a balanced budget in 2024/25.

And finally, remember that the clocks go back this weekend which means an extra hour in bed – unless you have small children and then it’s a very long day!