November 27, 2022

Crowds gathered for Peterborough's Christmas lights switch-on event
Crowds gathered for Peterborough’s Christmas lights switch-on event

I always try to look on the bright side and amidst all this adversity there have been many heartwarming examples of our teams going above and beyond to help the neediest in our city.

I will always be extremely proud of this tireless work, but we never rest on our laurels, which is why our offer to help vulnerable residents will continue for as long as we can.

Last week we announced the opening of specialist community centers in the city where residents struggling with the rising cost of living can receive vital support and everyday essentials.

Using the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Household Support Fund, we have commissioned 20 hubs to be run by community, voluntary and faith sector organizations in key locations across the city.

All centers will provide food support and many will also provide essentials, energy and heat essentials and social activities. Several hubs have cafes and pay-as-you-go options. Just to emphasize, there is no criteria for someone seeking support at the hubs, recognizing that everyone is affected by the crisis.

So my message to anyone struggling now is please visit your local center – you’ll get a warm welcome, helpful advice and the chance to stock up on everyday essentials.

For more information about hubs and to find your nearest venue, visit the council’s website at www.peterborough.gov.uk

Don’t forget that as well as co-ordinating hub support we continue to run and promote support schemes for residents, with more focussed on helping people struggling to pay for energy bills such as the Local Energy Advisory Partnership (LEAP ). This includes free home energy advice, including the installation of energy saving measures. You can apply for LEAP by visiting www.applyforleap.org.uk or calling 0800 060 7567.

Meanwhile, families whose children receive free school meals will continue to receive vouchers over the Christmas holidays. If you want to check if your child may be eligible, visit the council’s website again.

For residents unable to access information online, please contact the council on 01733 747474.

On Friday evening I joined the thousands of people gathered downtown for the annual Christmas lights switch on.

It was a spectacular event and as always it was great to see the city bathed in a festive glow with people of all ages enjoying themselves.

If you couldn’t make it, you can watch a recording on our Youtube account. We had popular local gymnast Jake Jarman, who won two gold medals at this year’s British Championships, pushing the button. Jake was joined by PCRFM presenter Kev Lawrence and a host of pantomime characters from Peterborough theatres.

Don’t forget that from today our festive celebrations continue with the arrival of a giant ice rink in Cathedral Square, which will be launched with appearances from Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey team and pantomime stars Dick Whittington.

The ice rink will be enjoyed by all until January 4 and you can find out more at www.peterborough-ice.com

Regular readers will remember some time ago that we talked about getting new powers to deal with traffic offenses on the move, such as driving through a no trespassing sign or in a pedestrian zone such as Cathedral Square .

We have launched a six-week public consultation on road enforcement proposals aimed at reducing congestion, improving air quality and road safety, and encouraging sustainable travel.

The Traffic Management Act allows local authorities to penalize bad driving habits which, under criminal law, can only be enforced by the police. We want to take these skills from the Department for Transport (DfT) and use them to strengthen our ongoing work to tackle illegal and dangerous driving behaviour.

Please go online and have a look at the proposals and have your say, we really want to hear from as many people as possible before the consultation closes on Friday 23rd December. Visit: https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/council/consultations/moving-traffic-enforcement-consultation-2022

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