I recently attended the Peterborough City Leadership Forum which as the name suggests is a gathering of chief executives, directors and senior managers from a range of businesses, community groups, voluntary sector and the arts, along with representatives and elected members from the public sector and Peterborough City Council.
The theme for the day was ‘beyond borders’ which came from a desire for a deeper conversation around emerging themes, particularly devolved governance.
Dualling the A16 for example would have many benefits for Peterborough, South Holland and Lincolnshire.
Attendees explored the identity, role and responsibilities of Peterborough in a wider regional area, in which South Holland sits.
My role was to give some historical background to South Holland, outline where we are now and what our ambitions and priorities for the future are, especially where there may be mutually beneficial outcomes for South Holland and Peterborough. Top of my agenda was growth and the need, particularly in times of greatly reduced budgets, to maximise inward investment into the area that could improve our current road infrastructure. Dualling the A16 for example would have many benefits for Peterborough, South Holland and Lincolnshire.
Boosting job skills is also an important area and there are good opportunities for closer working with our Further Education Colleges so we can build on the excellent range of courses they provide.
We want more courses that are relevant to our local businesses, ensuring that more of our young people are retained in the area and want to work here because there are better paid and more highly skilled jobs.
Agri-food, housing and culture are all areas of increased importance to both Peterborough and South Holland.
They are especially relevant in terms of increasingly important technology to keep the agri-food industry internationally competitive, high quality housing for those working in the Peterborough area and along the route of the East Coast mainline and cultural facilities available in a large city that compliments our rural market towns, providing the quality of life we all aspire to.
Should we be doing more work with Peterborough in the future and what do you think the benefits might be? Let me know.