Peterborough Council Friday Special – The Gasman Cometh

premises17:19 Friday 15th March 2013
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: Let’s turn our attention to another story, one that we’re breaking I think. It’s one of the first deals of its kind, but in the next few hours, Peterborough City Council will go into partnership with British Gas. It means up to £20 million could be invested into city for energy efficiency schemes. It’ll affect 7,000 homes across the city, and they say create around 600 jobs. Well the Leader of Peterborough City Council is Marco Cereste of course, and he’s with me now. Hello Marco.
MARCO CERESTE: Hello. How are you.
CHRIS MANN: I’m very well thank you. Are you doing something for Red Nose today?
MARCO CERESTE: Ah hah(?) I’ve been doing it all day. (THEY LAUGH)
CHRIS MANN: Enjoying it then .
MARCO CERESTE: I’ve been abolishi .. a politician all day. Isn’t that red nose enough?
CHRIS MANN: Yes. Yes. Fair point. So Marco, tell us what you’re announcing tonight.
MARCO CERESTE: Well it’s fantastic news, isn’t it, the partnership between Peterborough and British Gas. It’s part of the UK scheme, and they will be doing all sorts of eco innovations and adaptations to existing homes within the city, up to 7,000 homes. Those people who are on low income, it will be absolutely free to them. There’ll be no cost to them whatsoever. And it could save them quite a bit of money in energy charges every single year. So it’s .. I’m very excited about it. 600 new jobs. It’s great. It’s really good news for our city.
CHRIS MANN: Let’s just try and zero in on some of these facts and figures you’re giving us here. 600 jobs. How are they going to come, and where?
MARCO CERESTE: Well, we’ve agreed with British Gas that as they roll out the programme, they will actually recruit in Peterborough, train in Peterborough, create apprenticeships in Peterborough, and the you know in and and the very near locality. So again that’s that’s really really good news. And day would expect to see those jobs coming on stream very quickly, because these people will be needed to help deliver the programme and do the work. And the great thing about it will be that they will be well trained, and they’ll just be able to carry on hopefully and continue with jobs when this programme is over cos there’ll be other things for them to do, that they’re trained to do.
CHRIS MANN: Not just short term jobs.
MARCO CERESTE: No no. No no. No.
CHRIS MANN: Ok. You’re initially targeting seven thousand households in the city. What will they be offered?
MARCO CERESTE: Well, all sorts of things, from new boilers, insulation, all that sort of thing. Anything that’s going to make their homes more efficient, energy efficient. And quite frankly they’ll be better to live in too, because you and I both know that when our home is nice and warm, and you’re not spending too much money, it just makes life that much that much easier. And that will help save quite a bit of money. You know, they could be saving anywhere between you know two and five hundred pounds a year, and it won’t cost them anything at all to do it. So ..
CHRIS MANN: Well a free new boiler sounds very attractive. Will they have to sign up to British Gas to get that or something? Will they have to have a contract with them.
MARCO CERESTE: Well, I don’t know that they will have to sign up to actually take the energy from British Gas. This is part of the of a eco programme that’s being rolled out around the country. And British Gas as a part of it they wanted to come to Peterborough quite rightly because we are you know we have all the ener .. the environmental credentials. So I don’t believe that it’s they’ve got to sign up to British Gas, have gas from them to get the scheme. And I would anticipate that you know if you are on a low income, you’ll be able to sign up, get what you need, and not pay anything.
CHRIS MANN: OK. And Peterborough’s deliberately been picked out here because of your green credentials. Is that what you’re saying?
MARCO CERESTE: Absolutely. Yes. And we’re delighted to work with British Gas. You know, it’s a big reputable company. And it’s great. It’s really good news for the city. And hopefully we’ll look at rolling it out beyond the sort of seven odd thousand they’re talking about at the moment. We’ll see how things go. But the important thing for us is that you’ve got seven eight thousand households in our city that will have a huge amount of free help towards reducing their energy bills, reducing fuel poverty, and quite frankly it’s just part and parcel of our authority’s drive to help our citizens meet their ..
CHRIS MANN: Marco, they’ll want to know, is there any contribution going from Peterborough City Council. Are you having to pay for this? Will it cost them on their rates?
MARCO CERESTE: No no no no. It will save them money. That’s right. We’re not paying anything. We’ve just got to work with them, facilitate it, make it possible, you know, get the message out, get to the people that we think probably need need the help, and just help with the British Gas to help get this delivered.
MARCO CERESTE: And the more we do that, the better it is.
CHRIS MANN: There’s going to be a queue forming on Monday morning to get a free boiler.
MARCO CERESTE: Absolutely fantastic. You know, the more people that come forward the better.
CHRIS MANN: When, when and how can people apply for this?
MARCO CERESTE: That’s a very very good question. We’re putting a press release out today. We’ll get more energ .. more information out over the next few days. Come on to the .. on to the .. certainly the Council website .. I mean I would imagine that British Gas will have their own website.
CHRIS MANN: OK. The answer is it will be on there soon.
CHRIS MANN: So Marco have you got your red nose on?
MARCO CERESTE: Ha ha no. I haven’t. No. I’ve just gone home and took it off. (LAUGHS)
CHRIS MANN: Get in front of the telly and get pledging, alright.
CHRIS MANN: Good man. Thank you Marco Cereste Leader of Peterborough City Council.