Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald

Overall, it was a good night for the Conservative Party in Peterborough compared with results elsewhere, with Labour and the Lib Dems failing to make gains despite the challenging national picture.

In fact, under the first past the post system of elections used in the city, the Conservatives clearly had a majority of votes cast – just over 14,000. We also continue to have the most councillors (28) across the city and it’s worth pointing out that people chose those councillors freely.

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It’s vitally important that we remember the thorough scrutiny which our council is under as we strive to achieve financial stability. We must keep the confidence of government and the way we can do that is under my leadership.

On that note, I’m delighted and grateful to colleagues for their support after having been re-elected uncontested as the leader of the Conservative group on the council and will continue to do my best to deliver for the people of Peterborough.

We have made great progress towards financial sustainability and are well on our way to delivering on our improvement plan and meeting the necessary savings that come with being a responsible administration.

I would urge the opposition parties, but particularly those that can make or break the authority, to think very carefully when it comes to the annual council meeting on May 23 and who they might support to lead the council to maintain political and financial stability. I sincerely hope that common sense prevails, as the same challenges will remain whoever has the helm of the city council.

With the weather warming up this weekend it seems like a good time to remind people that the Lido is open – it’s a fantastic attraction that we are lucky to have, so why not enjoy an al fresco swim?

It is so pleasing to see a packed calendar of events taking place across the city this summer now the Covid restrictions have been lifted, beginning this weekend with the Peterborough Celebrates festival at Nene Park.

The event is taking place from tomorrow (Friday) until Sunday and will feature an eclectic mix of fun, games, entertainment and performances. It’s billed as a stage to celebrate Peterborough, bringing together everything that makes our city great and thanking the many people who have helped our communities get through the last couple of challenging years.

There will be a packed timetable of music, arts, food and drink and community activities on offer, so make a date in your diaries if you can. You can find out more by visiting https://www.nenepark.org.uk/peterborough-celebrates

Staying on the subject of warmer weather, we have issued a warning to residents to look out for unlicensed ice cream vans over the summer months.

Our number one priority is the safety of the public and we want to make people aware of the potential dangers of purchasing ice creams from unlicensed vans.

The council licences ice cream vans that trade in Peterborough and vehicles are required to be of roadworthy condition, with full insurance and a valid MoT. Vehicles undergo regular food hygiene checks and licensed ice cream traders are all DBS vetted and checked to ensure they have a valid driving licence.

Once licensed, an ice cream van is issued with a dark green plate that is fixed to the rear of the vehicle. The dark green plate contains the council logo, the plate number and the vehicle registration. If you spot an ice cream van without this, it will be unlicensed. Please report such vehicles to [email protected] or by calling 01733 453491.

This week sees national Mental Health Awareness Week take place and we are reminding residents what fantastic mental health support is available locally if you or someone you care for is struggling in any way.

One in four people across the country will experience a mental health problem in any given year, with illnesses including anxiety, depression, addiction, personality disorders and psychosis.

Experiencing a mental health problem can be upsetting and very frightening, so we want to make people aware that they are not alone and there are a wide range of services and support available to you. These include online support and information services, helplines, talking therapies, counselling and crisis mental health support, as well as psychiatric help.

You can find more details of the support available here: https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/mental-health-awareness-week-2022/

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