In November 1972, the city's Engineers' Department had released proposals to radically transform the general Gladstone Street area that was home to some 8,000 residents. Nothing happened! Finally, in April 1975, following repeated complaints by residents about the state of the district, council leader Charles Swift ordered a massive clean-up of the area. In mid-June it was reported that 268 houses in the area stood empty, derelict and vermin-ridden - 12 per cent of the total and an increase of 150 over the previous year. The Evening Telegraph could finally report on this day that something was to be done. It had been promised, it reported, that by the end of 1975 work would be underway to refurbish and redevelop the whole of the Gladstone Street area. It would not be instant, though. The whole scheme was forecast to take around eleven years and cost something in the order of £4.25 million, with much of that money going in grants to existing tenants to do some of the work themselves. By the end of May 1981, the Peterborough Evening Telegraph was able to inform its readers that the work was almost complete, the council having agreed on 26 May to spend a further £428,000 to complete the neighbourhood improvements.
Taken from The Peterborough Book of Days by Brian Jones, The History Press, 2014.