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Leader Wayne Fitzgerald's blog - 14 July

14 July 2023

Our commitment to helping those most in need was demonstrated this week with the opening of the first of our new Family Hubs in Peterborough.

The facility, which is based at First Steps Child and Family Centre in Welland Road, was officially opened yesterday with a special ceremony attended by families and children who already use the centre and a number of city councillors and partners.

The hub is designed to make it easier for parents, carers and young people to access the help and support they need by bringing together different services and types of support.

The services that will be available from the Family Hub include parenting and feeding advice, support with wellbeing and mental health, and early language development. There will also be youth activities for young people aged 11 to 19.

Services will be delivered by Peterborough City Council staff and partner organisations including the NHS Healthy Child Programme, Midwifery, Barnardo’s, NCT and various voluntary sector organisations.

We will be opening three Family Hubs in total, after securing a £3.5million Family Hubs and Start for Life grant from central government. Two more will be opened over the coming weeks - one at Honeyhill Child and Family Centre in Paston and at Orton Child and Family Centre.

In addition to the physical hubs, we are developing the virtual Family Hubs offer on the council’s website, which will draw together information, advice and signposting to further support for families and young people in one easy-to-access online hub.

By improving access to services and bringing whole-family support under one roof – from birth to adulthood - these hubs will help families overcome challenges and should ultimately help to improve outcomes for children and young people and their families.

We’re working closely with partner organisations, as well as families, across the city as we shape and develop this service. We are looking forward to extending this support with more hubs due to open later this year.

If you take a walk along the Embankment, you will notice that a former derelict building has been transformed into a colourful work of art.

Nathan Murdoch, a local artist with international acclaim, has spent the past few days busily transforming a former toilet block by the riverside into a stunning wayfarer sign for passers-by.

His work was officially unveiled earlier this week and instead of a grey and tired looking derelict building, the site now shows eye-catching designs of local landmarks, which can be used to point people in the right direction.

Called the ‘Peterborough Compass’, Nathan started work on the design last Thursday and we held a special opening ceremony yesterday. It looks fantastic, with four sides of the building showing the Cathedral, Flag Fen, Ferry Meadows and the train station.

We’re fortunate to have some great artwork in the city, such as The Gormley statues in Cathedral Square and the sculptures at Nene Park and Boongate.

The Peterborough Compass is a fantastic addition to this list and I would like to thank Nathan and everyone involved with this unique project. If you’re in the city centre, why not go and take look?

The city’s busy summer events calendar continues this weekend with a special occasion that tennis fans are bound to love.

A big screen will be showing all the action from the Wimbledon finals in Cathedral Square and everyone is invited. You can watch big screen action of the women’s singles final on the Saturday, followed by the men’s clash on the Sunday, with other final matches being shown from 12.30pm both days.

So why not relax on St John’s green for the afternoon and treat yourself to a variety of refreshments that will be available to buy from pop-up stalls run by local businesses, including summer cocktails, strawberries and cream and pizzas.

Finally, another reminder that the next session of Ask the Leader takes place on Tuesday 25 July.

Ask the Leader gives everyone the chance to ask questions about any local issue which is affecting you and myself and council officers will look to answer these during an online discussion.

If you would like to submit a question please send these to