Apr 12, 2011
Marco Cereste
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Cardea Development visit

I was pleased with the outcomes of a meeting I organised today at the new South Stanground development.  Local residents had the chance to meet the chief executive of Persimmon Homes to discuss the progress of the construction and to talk through some ongoing issues.

In total there were around 12 residents with me including some from nearby Oakdale Avenue and others from Cardea itself.   For the residents of Oakdale Avenue their main concern is the proximity of the new development to their properties and in particular the fact that several Cardea residents were having to walk close to their properties.

Following discussion I think we have found a way of forward.   By bringing forward the construction of a path from the Cardea development to the main part of Stanground we should be able to address this.  The path was always in the original plans, but by listening to local people we have been able to change the timetable and address their concerns.

All this, while the new Morrissons supermarket is under way to be completed this coming autumn.

Local people also had an opportunity to have a look, first hand, at the development.  Maps were brought out to illustrate where new infrastructures that will serve the whole of Stanground, will be situated.  The new primary school, that is to be built, for example, was a part of the project that some residents showed real enthusiasm for. Some did not know about the Supported Care Living accommodations for senior citizens that are in the project.

All this in the name of the development of Stanground, so that it can grow the right way, while preserving its picturesque way of life.

Apr 11, 2011
Marco Cereste
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Blog Two

The last 2 days canvassing have been great. I have been really delighted with the number of people who wanted to talk to me and discuss not just ward issues but what is going on in the city.

I was delighted with last week’s news about the additional investment in Stanground College and Orton Longueville school.  If Peterborough is to achieve the ambitious vision we have for its future, then we have to ensure that our children get the very best education they can.  Obviously a lot depends on their teachers, on their own efforts and the support of their families, but equally they need – and deserve – to have modern, high quality learning facilities.  Over the last few years we have transformed most of our secondary schools.  We have two new schools at The Thomas Deacon Academy and Voyager and another on its way at Ormiston Bushfields and major investments at the others.  With this latest announcement we can complete the programme.

What makes this even more exciting for me is that Orton Longueville was my school and that Stanground is in my Ward.  So many of the people I meet in Stanground have raised this with me and wanted to know when their school was going to get the refurbishment it needs.  It was so disappointing that we lost the money we thought we had from government last year, but this announcement puts things right.  I hope to find out more about the design plans soon and hope that we can share them more widely.

The programme of rebuilding Peterborough’s schools is having a positive impact. Last year our children achieved the city’s best ever exam results and I am pretty confident that we will have another successful year in 2011.  That said no-one is satisfied or complacent – our exam results are still below national average and we have to keep up the momentum, so that our children are getting the best, not middle of the pack, results.  And with the rapid development of our University offer in the city, we can then really start to feel that we are fulfilling our educational potential.

 

Apr 4, 2011
Marco Cereste
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Blog one

I am looking forward now to the election campaign getting under way for real now – although it is always a nerve wracking time.

Elections are exciting times – it is of course win or lose and my political future is in the hands of the voters – that is just as it should be.

We have been working hard on getting the electoral address ready and preparing a new website so that voters can easily find out more about me and what I think on the issues that matter most to them.

But I am focused now on getting out and about in the ward and listening to local people.

What I really hope is that people will come out and vote. It is a sad fact that over the country as a whole people have lost faith in their politicians and to some extent in politics.  Voter turnout is low and fewer people seem to want to stand for election.  We all need to think hard about why this has happened and what we can do to turn things around.

Above all I am sure it is about trust.  Generally, politicians aren’t trusted and people don’t think their vote will make a difference.  I would love to hear more from local people during this election about what we can do to put that right.

One of the reasons I was so determined to set up neighbourhood councils in Peterborough was to give local people more of a say in what happens in their area. If I get re-elected I want to continue to look for opportunities to give local people more power and more say over what happens in their street.  I have some thoughts of my own, which I will outline during the election but I’d welcome other ideas.

I have set up a number of ways in which people can keep in touch with me and let me know their views during the election.  I can’t promise to reply to every comment or idea, but I will read them all and value the input.

Personally I remain passionate about being involved in public administration – not the politics, but the opportunity to serve and to make a difference.  And that’s why I will work as hard as I can to convince people to vote for me in this election.  Over the last two years Peterborough has started to change – educational results are getting better every year.  We have three outstanding secondary schools already in the city and now we have a growing university too.  Crime is at its lowest every level.  Major retailers and restaurants are investing in the city and creating jobs.

But there is so much we still need to do and so much opportunity.  And I want to be part of making that happen.   That’s what makes the election so exciting and so challenging.

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