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Results of Cathedral Square fountains public poll announced

08 June 2023

Residents of Peterborough are being thanked for taking part in a public poll which asked them to give their opinions on whether to operate the Cathedral Square fountains this year.

Council Leader, Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, posed the question to residents via a poll on the council’s social media pages, which concluded yesterday (Wednesday) at 3pm.

The poll was in response to the fact it will cost in the region of £35,000 to get the fountains - which are now 13-years-old - working this year because of the need for maintenance and repairs.

The results of the poll have revealed that 40% of people wanted to see the fountains switched on and 60% favoured them being switched off.

With the advice of officers being that a thorough investigation is needed to fully understand the costs needed to get the fountains working long-term, the council’s Cabinet has decided to keep the fountains switched off this year and then evaluate whether to invest in them in future years.

Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to give us their views, whether it was on social media, on email or through our call centre. In total there were 4,619 votes which demonstrates a fantastic level of engagement with our residents.

“The majority of people favoured switching them off, however we cannot ignore the fact that there was a sizeable group of people who wanted the fountains switched on and recognised the benefits of doing so for our city centre.

“Given that we don’t know the full state of repair for the fountains, which are becoming more problematic due to their age, and the investment that might be needed longer term, a thorough investigation will be undertaken to decide whether to operate them in the future.

“We will now begin that piece of work, whilst also looking at how we can invest more widely in our city centre, and in the meantime the fountains will remain switched off.

“We will also be looking at how we can move forward with the square this year, which may include the introduction of flowers and some additional events. I’ll be able to talk more about that soon.”

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

However, this year it has been identified that at least an additional £15,000 would need to be spent 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.

The full results of the social media poll are as follows: