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Leader Wayne Fitzgerald's blog - 8 September

08 September 2023

I would like to wish everyone starting school or moving up to a new school the very best of luck - your school days are a unique experience to be enjoyed.

It’s a bit annoying that we wait all summer long for a continued spell of warm weather and it arrives just as school restarts. Do make the most of our award-winning parks and Lido while it lasts but be careful if you’re out in the sun for long periods.

You will have no doubt seen national media coverage about schools having to close ahead of the new academic year due to safety concerns over Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

Our officers have been carrying out RAAC surveys of all our schools and education sites in recent weeks and these have produced no issues of concern to date.

On a related subject, I’m pleased to report that we have a record number of young people starting apprenticeships with the council this month.

We have 19 people starting roles across several different departments, with roles in teaching, accountancy, adult social care, our early years service and project management to name but a few.

An apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme, designed to focus on developing knowledge, behaviours, and skills for a particular career through combining paid, practical on-the-job training alongside study.

Our apprenticeships cover the full range of qualifications from level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) up to level 7 (postgraduate level / equivalent to Masters degree). 

Apprentices spend 20 per cent of their programme completing flexible, theory-based learning with a specialist provider (such as a college or university), which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

It’s fantastic that we are offering a great mix of apprenticeships and would like to wish everyone involved the very best of luck as they get started on the careers ladder.

To find out more about apprenticeships visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

Earlier this summer we launched a public consultation on Peterborough’s Local Plan and the deadline for feedback is fast approaching.

The city’s Local Plan is due to be updated over the next three years, setting out how it will grow over the coming decades. The current plan was adopted in 2019 and covers development up until 2036 – however, national policy is for this to be updated every five years.

Reviewing the local plan brings numerous benefits, including ensuring that Peterborough can demonstrate it has enough land for housing plus it gives more time to plan where new infrastructure - including schools, roads and health facilities - will need to be built.

We really value your views and input in the creation of a new Local Plan and are currently consulting to help identify what the new plan should include, and the type of policies required.

The deadline for responses is Friday 15 September, so please get involved by visiting www.peterborough.gov.uk

Council staff and members took part in a charity cricket match on Saturday and won for the first time in the history of the annual event.

They joined colleagues from Cambridgeshire Police and the NHS to compete against the Joint Mosque Council representing all five of the city's mosques.

The event has taken place annually for the past eight years with the goal of promoting ongoing cohesion and positive links between public services and the local community. And for the first time the public services won the game! A big well done to all involved.

Funds were raised on the day for Pancreatic Cancer U.K. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, you can do so here

Finally, our next session of Ask the Leader takes place on Tuesday 26 September, giving everyone a chance to ask myself questions about any issue affecting your daily life.

Please submit questions to asktheleader@peterborough.gov.uk and I look forward to receiving them.