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£15m from Government will help to deliver innovative heating solution



£15m of Government funding is on its way to Peterborough to deliver the first phase of an innovative heating/electricity project.

We are one of only five progressive cities that has been selected for this, which will allow us to generate our own low carbon power.

We are lucky in Peterborough to have the council-owned Energy Recovery Facility in Fengate. This takes your non-recyclable household waste and uses a combustion process to turn it into heat and electricity – saving it from landfill.

The PIRI project will, essentially, transport this heat and electrical power and deliver it direct to city centre buildings via a series of underground pipes and cables.

The first phase will deliver energy to key businesses in Fengate. The second, to city centre key businesses and public buildings – reducing carbon consumption by as much as 92 per cent – which is not to be sniffed at.

And what’s really exciting is that once we’ve achieved that, we have the potential to move on to supply homes in Peterborough too.

It sounds like sci-fi stuff, but the technology is now here and we in Peterborough will be the first in the UK to reap the benefits of it.

On Monday we had the latest meeting of the Cabinet, and it was a packed agenda with lots of exciting decisions.

You will have heard me speak before about our plans for a pedestrian bridge over the River Nene at Fletton Quays, and at this week’s meeting we awarded the contract to Milestone Infrastructure Ltd, the council’s highways contractor.

The bridge – funded by the Government’s Towns Fund, combined authority, and city council – will offer pedestrians and cyclists an alternative route across the river, away from the busy main road.

It will create a good link from the south of the city to our stunning new university and will also make it easier to walk and cycle in our city, boosting health and improving our air quality by reducing traffic.

A full business case and detailed design for the scheme will now be worked out and a public consultation will take place early next year.

At the same meeting we also signed off:

  • An ambitious new suicide prevention strategy which will continue to build on previous work to both prevent future suicides and to support those directly impacted when someone ends their life.
  • A scheme to improve the A16 at Norwood, which will include dualling a section of road.
  • Two new active travel schemes to make it easier and safer for residents to walk and cycle.
  • An application for new enforcement powers to tackle offences things like driving in a pedestrian zone or ignoring a no entry sign. This is something I have been pressing for and it is great to see it progressing.

If you want to hear the debate on any of these items, you can watch the meeting back on the council’s YouTube channel.

I am always out and about in the community, even more so at this time of year.

Earlier this month I visited the team at Boxes for Hope; an interesting charity that was founded in February at the start of the Ukraine war.

From its humble social media beginnings, quickly growing with help from local businesses and enterprises, it has now become a lifeline that helps the lives of thousands of civilians that live amongst the war every day.

Every donation, box, and label they create is organised by volunteers who give their time to ensure that those that need the help get it as quickly as possible. They also work with schools to create letters and pictures to send to women and children displaced through the conflict

I would strongly encourage anyone that can help to donate to the charity, giving something to people that now have nothing left but hope. Get in touch with Mandy Baxter on

Then last Saturday I attended the 50th anniversary of Longthorpe Pre-School. It was a great event, with lots of children and families attending, and I got to introduce Santa! Well done to everyone there who is helping to give our youngest residents the best start in life.

On Sunday I went along to KingsGate Community Church in Parnwell which was an excellent experience, and I will return if I am invited.

Later the same day I attended the carol concert at St John’s Church led by vicar Michelle Dalliston which was a fantastic evening.

I’m always happy to attend local community and civic events so let me know if you want me to come to one of yours.

Finally, it just remains for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. And remember, our ice rink in the city centre remains open until 4 January!



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