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LETTER: Halt or withdraw leisure changes NOW Cabinet urged

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Cllr Dennis Jones, Labour group leader on Peterborough City Council, and Andrew Pakes Labour Parliamentary candidate for Peterborough, have written to city council leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, calling on the Cabinet to withdraw or pause the proposal it is discussing on heritage.

The Cabinet is meeting this afternoon (Monday).

Cllr Jones and Mr Pakes are also calling for a Heritage Commission so that the Cabinet can work with councillors and other stakeholders to find a consensus way forward to protect our cultural assets.



We are writing to urge the Cabinet to withdraw or pause plans to change the leisure,
heritage and library services contract pending further consultation.

Our heritage and culture represent the best of Peterborough providing a unique link with our past, present, and future for the city. Whilst there have been challenges following the collapse of Vivacity, these latest proposals come alongside a wider decline in the provision and support for culture in the city.

This is too important to either rush or get wrong. In recent days, we have seen heartfelt pleas by the Peterborough Civic Society and Peterborough Museum Society expressing serious concerns about the proposal being considered by the council. We have also been contacted by residents concerned by the proposals.

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We are calling on the Cabinet to withdraw the paper to give time for further consideration of the options available to the city. The scale of change proposed and risks to our heritage assets requires wider discussion to ensure we don’t get this wrong.

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Our concern is that these changes say more about the council’s dire financial situation and desire to make cuts than it does about protecting and enhancing the future of heritage provision in the city.

Firstly, we would ask you to pause the decision proposed for Monday 18 September. This cannot be rushed through. The public, heritage organisations and councillors deserve to be part of this discussion before a final decision is made.

Secondly, we propose a Heritage Commission to bring together the main stakeholders involved in protecting our culture and heritage assets so that they can consider the options alongside councillors and officers.

We should be bringing people together to form a consensus position on the future of our heritage assets rather than dividing people.

The serious points raised by the Civic Society and Museum Society have not been addressed by the Cabinet’s proposal.

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For the future of our city, we need to work together to get this right.

We trust this meets with your approval and look forward to your reply.

Your sincerely,
Dennis Jones Labour Group leader PCC,
Andrew Pakes
Parliamentary candidate for Peterborough.



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