3 things RE: planned Uni of Peterborough, that no-one seems to care about?

University of Peterborough
Q: Will someone you know be one of the first students to attend?

The City Council recently announced some further details on the planned University of Peterborough.

“Skills growth, however, has not kept up and skills levels in Peterborough are currently in the bottom 10% of the country.” – Mayor James Palmer (Cons)

Snippets to be aware of:

  • There aren’t enough workers in Peterborough with the right skills for businesses in Peterborough to thrive and, as a result, the affluence of the area has declined.
  • University of Peterborough aims to open its doors to its first 2,000 students in 2022. By 2030, it is expected to offer courses for up to 12,500 students.
  • The first three faculties of the University are set to include business, innovation entrepreneurship and professional services; information technology, digital and creative services and Agri-tech and environmental services.
  • Planned future faculties include health and social care, engineering, manufacturing and advanced manufacturing.

Got a question

What Darren has to say:

  1. In 2 years time, the Council says that the new Uni will accommodate 2000 students. I presume that Peterborough has more than 2000 students each year leaving for Uni, and given that there may be some students applying from outside the city, who and how will allocation of spaces be determined?
  2. Given the thousands of extra bods planned to live in our city, where will they live and what assurances can the Council secure, to ensure that private rental prices do not rise even further than they have in recent years?
  3. There’s zero way that the present planned space on the embankment, can house 12,500 students. Therefore, where else in the city, will the campus be and will money be made available to improve community/transport infrastructure?

Are YOU free?

Proposals for the new University of Peterborough will be “revealed” to the public in the coming days, please see below.

University of Peterborough

Manor Drive school already 4 years behind schedule!

Manor Drive/Paston Reserve

There are now hundreds and hundreds of houses at the commonly known area of Manor Drive, and with even more planned, it was disappointing to read the latest Executive Decision from the Tory controlled City Council, which showed the planned primary school will now be open in 2022, NOT, 2018 as I was originally promised.

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Whats the latest?

According to the recently published Manor Drive Schools Decision:

  • Manor Drive Primary will be located adjacent to Norwood Lane and will be built to
    accommodate 420 children at capacity and will open to one form of entry for reception children in September 2022.
  • A 26 place nursery provision will also be built as part of the new school site.
  • Manor Drive Secondary Academy will be built to accommodate 900 children (six forms of entry) and will open to four forms year 7 children in September 2022.
  • 4C’s Multi Academies Trust (4C’s) will run the schools, they currently run Arthur Mellows Village College located in Glinton, Fulbridge Academy located in the city centre and Hampton Vale Primary in Hampton West.
  • The Council will design and construct an access road from Newborough Road into the secondary school site and it will be completed in readiness for the school contractor to start on site in January 2021.
  • A public consultation event will be held (venue to be determined) for the new school designs to be on display.
  • Upon expiry of the 12 month defects liability period, the Council will enter into a 125 year lease with 4C’s Multi Academies Trust.

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What does Darren think?

I think the City Council have failed local residents of this area of Peterborough for years, no bus service, terrible crossing over the Paston Parkway, a generally piss-poor footpath leading to the bridge, a back track on a convenience store, roads remaining un-adopted, speeding vehicles, I could go on!

As you will see form the properties presently for sale at this location, the fact that the prices range from £200,000 and £300,000 a house, shows in my opinion, that the priorities for the Conservative controlled City Council are, money making FIRST and residential issues second!

The harsh reality is, that things simply will not change for local taxpayers in this area, until we get a change of administration at the Town Hall.

People who vote Conservative in this area, really should take a second to think about changing this habit, come the local elections in May.

Please let me know YOUR thoughts below!

Manor Drive schools meeting on the horizon!

Paston Reserve Schools

Both my colleague Cllr Julia Davidson and myself are set to have a meeting in the coming weeks with the Capital Projects and Assets Officer at Peterborough City Council, to discuss the latest state of play is regards the development.

Read more

I think #MentalHealth support in schools SHOULD be statutory!

Child depression

As someone who has experience of mental health issues, I am constantly concerned by the lack of effort shown by various sections of society when it comes to mental health.

I recently read that figures from Public Health England showed 1 in 10 children aged 5 to 16 has a diagnosable mental health problem!

Read more

It’s been 6 years since #NorwoodSchool fence issue was settled …

Elter Walk

Did you know it’s been 6 years since the Norwood School fence issue was finally settled? Initially, things were running smoothly, but that now seems to have changed?

Since the initial voluntary key holders were no longer able to continue locking and unlocking the gates at the weekends, the school has done nothing to ensure that the gates, as per the agreement and signage that hangs on the fence, are open to members of public, outside of school hours.

I’ve since been contacted by local residents, and in response I stood up and raised the issue at a meeting of Full Council.

I asked Cllr John Holdich, Tory leader of Peterborough City Council, if he could provide me, and residents, with a response as to what they can do to make sure that the school does unlock the gates outside of school hours, to benefit local children, enabling them to play safely, make the land accessible to wheelchair users, and encourage the use of this green open space for a range of leisure activities?

Map of Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Fr8hhVJ3epu

Norwood School

Councillor Holdich responded:

“Initially and for the first few years of the use of the field, the school caretaker was opening the school field at around 4.15 after school clubs finished, and then the 21 members of the community were locking the gates at dusk to prevent access during dark and prevent unwanted use. This was the agreement for community use. There have been several different community key holders over this period.

“Unfortunately the community failed in locking the gates in the evening and so the gates remained open all night. As a matter of safeguarding and preventing night time use the school decided to leave the gates locked. This has appeared to have been no problem whatsoever as far as the school is aware no complaints to the school made in the last two of years and therefore the gates have remained locked.”

Do you agree with Tory Cllr Holdich that the “community failed” on this?

Or

Do you think its strange that land owned by local people and tax payers, is inaccessible despite an agreement to make it so, that wheelchair users specifically are affected, and why a school that employs a caretaker to open up and lock the other gates at the front of the school, can’t afford the time to do the same for the ones on the field?

OMG
Why is it so hard sometimes in Peterborough to find a solution??

Previous Articles:

Guess how much the new Schools at the Paston Reserve are going to cost?

Paston Reserve

Whilst reading through the latest budget proposals from the the City Council, I noticed that money had been allocated for the primary and secondary schools, planned to be built in the area, commonly known, as Manor Drive.

For the Primary School, the Council has allocated just under £7,000,000 between now and 2021, and for the Secondary School, they’ve allocated over £25,000,000.

You might remember that originally, the plan was for just one school on the site, but once the secondary school places shortage kicked in, the Tories at the Town Hall decided to include a secondary school at the location, which also mean nearly 280 affordable homes would no longer be built.

It also meant that the planned opening of the Primary School was delayed by a year.

I’ve now sent of a request for more information on this planned development, relating to aspects like who will be constructing the schools, designing them, naming them and of course pushing for road safety assurances.

As ever, I’d love to read your thoughts and comments on this matter, so please do post below!

Related articles:

 

Just 23% of local schools have a 20 mph speed restriction zone!

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Road Safety outside schools is an ever increasing concern for local residents, officers at the Town Hall and of course us councillors!

Over the years, I’ve personally campaigned for additional road markings, crossings, signage and of course for the introduction of 20 mph zones outside of local schools.

So earlier this year, I thought I would ask the Tories at the Town Hall, how many of our local schools actually had such speed zones outside them?

At the meeting, I discovered there are presently 85 schools in Peterborough – 60 Primary, 13 Secondary, 9 Special, 3 Further Education Centres and that 20 mph limits are in place outside JUST 20 schools.

That means 76% do not have them!

I for one will certainly be calling for such a scheme outside the schools that are planned to be built at the Manor Drive area.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, so please do post some below!

Google hangout could save PCC and local schools £’s

What’s this to do with?

There’s been a lot of talk about schools facing financial pressures and, of course, Peterborough City Council, in recent months.

Sadly, the City Council and many local schools, still spend far too much time sending PDFs, “trying” to arrange meetings, acknowledging apologies and trying to get awareness for events.

So, one way to stop all this archaic activity and thus save money, is to become more effective and efficient, so isn’t it about time to start using Google Hangouts?

What does Darren think?

Peterborough was awarded Smart City of the Year in 2015, apparently beating competition from cities such as Moscow, Dubai and Buenos Aires. Not sure if we entered in 2016?

My point here is, its one thing to win an award and another thing altogether to actually do what needs to be done!

From my experience, as a school governor or a city councillor, there are times when you can’t make a meeting, or get sent loads of PDFs about stuff, that often is not clear in its content.

So why not save time, and thus money, by broadcasting meetings on Google Hangouts?

That way, if you are waiting outside for your child, at a social event etc You could actually log in and contribute, before leaving the hangout.

Or if you get caught in traffic, you could pull over and partake fully?

Perhaps most importantly for local schools, parents could actually watch meetings, LIVE from the comfort of their homes!

Wanna find out more?

PS…

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