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Leader Wayne Fitzgerald's blog - 19 May

19 May 2023

Regular readers will know how excited I am about Peterborough’s on-going development.

There is so much to look forward to such as our plans for the Station Quarter and the Vine and we want to involve residents in our planning wherever possible.

That’s why we’re asking people to have their say on plans for a pedestrian bridge linking the Embankment with Fletton Quays.

It’s not very often that a city gets to build a bridge – however, thanks to the Government’s Towns Fund, we are getting that unique opportunity. We’ve all heard talk about how good it would be to have a bridge in this location, so now’s your chance to have a say on what you think about the plans.

We’ve launched a public consultation which runs until June 5 and will feature a series of events where you can find out more about the plans – you can have your say online or by completing a paper survey.

Members of the public are being asked for their views on the bridge, potential options for a name, whether or not an art project should be included, if any additional street furniture is needed (ie bins, benches etc) and general comments about the bridge and the project.

To have your say visit:

The bridge will offer a non-vehicular alternative route across the river, away from the busy main road. It will create a local landmark, along with a good transport link for pedestrians and cyclists from Fletton Quays to the new University campus and Embankment area. The current estimated timeline would see construction start in mid-2024 and finish in mid-2025

A total of £2million has been pledged by the Government’s Towns Fund, part of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. This money has been ring-fenced by the Government and can only be spent on this project. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has contributed £3.4million, with the remainder coming from the council’s redevelopment budget.

For further information, or to request the survey in an additional language, email

I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former councillor Geoff Ridgway recently.

Geoff was an impressive gentleman, especially when you consider that he served as a councillor for over 40 years, spending time as Mayor and also cabinet member for education.

He stepped down in 2008, just a couple of years after I became a councillor in 2006. In the time that I worked with Geoff I found him to be a true professional who was passionate about Peterborough and truly dedicated to serving the council.

We will be sending a formal Letter of Condolence to his family and plan to lower flags outside the Town Hall on the day of his funeral.

Anyone who would like to send cards or letters of condolence, they should be sent to the following address: Paula D'Arcy, 16 Bolsover Hill, Bolsover, Chesterfield, S44 6BG.

Flowers to be sent to John Lucas Funeral Directors, 31 Dogsthorpe Road, Peterborough PE1 3AD.

A funeral will be held at Longthorpe Church at 1pm on Wednesday 24 May, followed by the committal at Peterborough Crematorium at 2pm.

You may be aware that Mental Health Awareness Week is currently taking place.

One in four people across the country will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Mental health problems and illnesses include anxiety, depression, addiction, personality disorders and psychosis.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is anxiety, which is a natural response to the uncertain world around us. For example, in the current cost-of-living, more than a third of adults feel anxious about their financial situation. However, it’s important that we recognise and respond when we feel anxious, so that our anxiety doesn’t become overwhelming.

Experiencing a mental health problem can be upsetting and very frightening. It is important to know you are not alone and that there are a wide range of services and support available to you. These include online support and information services, helplines, talking therapies, counselling and crisis mental health support, as well as psychiatric help.

For more information visit

Finally, if you’re free this weekend why not pop along to the Peterborough Celebrates Festival at Nene Park, which promises to be a fun-filled occasion.

The event takes place from Friday until Sunday and features a huge lineup including staged performances, workshops, art installations, local community groups and food and drink vendors.

You can find out more here: