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Drug Den Danger on the Riverbank

The brilliant volunteers of Woodston proved that together we can make our environment a better place, with a two hour blitz on the south riverbank last Saturday morning.  Working with the probation service’s Community Payback team, we cleared a huge pile of rubbish, collecting up piles of cans, clothes and bedding, food wrappers and glass.  Well done to everyone.


However, we also found a shocking amount of drug paraphernalia in the undergrowth.  Uncapped dirty needles, syringes, drug spoons and over 70 needle disposal boxes, the majority left empty!  We have a problem of drink and drug use just off a well-used public footpath.


We carefully collected up what was easy to see and safely disposed of the needles in the correct sharps bins, but what is clear is the drug users here are completely irresponsible.  There are genuine public health risks from needle-stick and blood borne diseases.  I am now asking public health, the Prevention and Enforcement Service and providers of support to drug addicts and the homeless to get on top of this.  I am also asking for the landowners to do some clearance work so that these areas on the riverbank are no longer welcome to drug users.

It is really important to report problems on the riverbank to police via the 101 telephone system or to the Council via the My Peterborough smartphone application.  We need a response, but the Prevention and Enforcement Service needs the evidence to prioritise patrols in the area, and the drug and homeless support services to deal with the longer term problems of the users here.  Let’s make our riverside safe and clean so everyone can enjoy the green spaces we have in the city.  In the meantime, please don’t let children or dogs go into the undergrowth.


Flood Risks in Fletton and Woodston Ward


This March we saw the heavens open, with solid rainfall, and as a result the regular sign of spring floods along the River Nene.  In the new part of Fletton and Woodston, which encompasses the Thorpe Gate area and Peterborough’s excellent rowing lake in Thorpe Meadows, the water spilled over the banks of the river and flooded the low lying areas by the banks, including the boardwalk nature reserve, the paths by the side of the lake and a fair portion of riverside paths that are so popular with dog walkers and others who walk, run or cycle across the area.

The Nene does overtop the banks of the river in times of heavy rain and snow, and for the most part the water remains within the open areas.  However, with global warming, climate change and more extreme weather events, people who live in areas close to water courses could face rare occasions of flooding.  The Environment Agency has a helpful online map on their website which shows what level of flood risk there is for local residents.

Environment Agency Flood Risk Map

Environment Agency Flood Risk Map for Peterborough

Looking at the map, it shows that the risk of flooding is between 0.1% in the light blue areas, up to 3.3% in the darker blue areas. If you want to check the risk to your own home, HERE‘s the link to the Environment Agency’s website.

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Community Litter Picks – Improve your local area through volunteer action


Yesterday I took part in a brilliant community activity.  Thorpe Gate Rivercare group hold regular Sunday
morning litter picks on the banks of the river Nene.  I joined an intrepid group of 10 volunteers, and Rivercare’s Project Officer, Fiona McKenna.  The Rivercare project is jointly funded by Anglian Water and delivered on the ground by Keep Britain Tidy, and the local group is ably organised by Con Carey and Jill Murdoch and is one of four Rivercare groups in Peterborough.  The sun shone and we soon warmed up as we began to fill up our rubbish bags.

The Rivercare Project allows volunteer groups to be provided with litter pickers and gloves to keep volunteers safe, and the City Council and Amey supports the group further by providing rubbish bags and collecting them up once they have been filled.

In two hours I had managed to fill up 3 1/2 bags with a variety of things that shouldn’t have been in the bushes in the first place – a lot of drinks cans and bottles, piles of crisp and sweet wrappers, and some nasty stuff like used needles and broken glass.  We even found a hand made clay pot, bits of building material, an old car tyre and old bits of bedding from rough sleepers who had long since moved on.   It was good to hear people out on their morning walk complimenting the volunteers on their efforts to pick up the rubbish and it was really beneficial exercise too.

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Your Councillor

Election 2015

Joining the Conservative Team in Peterborough

I have been the Ward Councillor for Bretton South since the May 2015 elections and I was delighted to have been able to represent the area over the last 9 months.  In that period I have been active in sorting out the problems of old and offensive graffiti on a number of utility boxes and on an electricity substation.  I have attended street meetings with Amey staff to point out problems of damaged bins, dead trees, excess littering and problems with overgrowing bushes and shrubs.

I have sorted out problems for local residents, from noisy neighbours, flytipping, occupation of public land by illegal traveller encampments, a case of arson in a play area and persuading the council to provide a new bin on a popular dog walking route so responsible owners can dispose of their dog’s mess properly and safely.

I have been able to support Bretton Bowls Club and enjoyed a few ends with members at the last session of the summer season.  All the best to the Club, and I wish Terry well with finding the funding to fit a proper watering system to keep the grass in tip top condition for next season.

When I became Councillor I was also put on the licensing committee, where I was one of the councillors who was responsible for ruling on licensing applications.  I was pleased to see new businesses with a responsible attitude to licensing starting their businesses, but was also pleased to take part in the decision to remove licences from a few premises where the owners had broken the rules, and had sold fake or illegally imported drink and cigarettes.

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Andy Coles
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.