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Leader Wayne Fitzgerald's blog - 6 July

06 July 2023

Ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the council has done all it can to help residents who are struggling to make ends meet.

Three years on and we remain fully committed to continuing to help – we know that times are still tough for many people, especially with high living costs.

With the school summer holidays just around the corner, I’m delighted to confirm that eligible families in Peterborough will once again be receiving supermarket vouchers for the summer break.

Two £25 vouchers will be sent automatically to eligible families on 22 July and another £25 voucher will be sent again on 12 August. The vouchers will be sent by email and/or text to the nominated parent or carer. The vouchers must be claimed by 4pm on 29 September. In total, over 14,000 vouchers will be issued, totalling over £700,000.

We are urging families to check whether they may be eligible for free school meals during term time, which in turn would make them eligible for supermarket vouchers and holiday activity scheme places in the holidays.

Families currently paying for school meals would save around £450 a year for each primary school child if they were entitled to free school meals. Providing free school meals can add up to £2,000 a year in government funding to a school’s budget.

Any child eligible for income-related free school meals will automatically receive a voucher for the summer break. Any children who become eligible up to 31 August will also a receive voucher. This will be sent when the council is notified of a change in personal circumstances.

Only those families which are eligible for free school meals and have applied will receive the vouchers. If you think you might qualify and could be saving money, please apply via our website: https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/residents/schools-and-education/holiday-voucher-scheme


On the subject of the summer break, I’m delighted that a popular water attraction is to re-open in time for it.

The paddling pool in Central Park will re-open tomorrow (Friday), following successful repair work. This required bespoke parts to be ordered which have now been fitted and successfully tested.

The pool will be open Friday - Sunday (10am-6pm) and then from 25 July to 31 August it will be open Tuesday to Sunday.

It’s been a frustrating time, but our teams have worked hard to get the facility working again. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their efforts and the public for their patience and understanding.

Improvements to a key road junction will get under way this month as part of a large-scale project to increase capacity at the busy intersection.

Work at Junction 3 of the Nene Parkway (near Serpentine Green) will start on July 17, aimed at reducing severe peak hour congestion and improving efficiency of the junction and surrounding road network.

By building in additional capacity to a key highway section, the scheme will help deliver growth aspirations across Peterborough. It will also enhance active travel in the vicinity of Junction 3 and provide better quality routes for pedestrians and cyclists.

The £9.3million scheme is expected to be complete by next spring and will result in a number of road closures throughout the work. These are detailed on the council’s website – www.peterborough.gov.uk and will be promoted on our social media accounts.

We would warn motorists to expect some delays in this area, so please plan journeys in advance and look out for travel updates.

On a related subject, a survey asking residents for their views on the city's highways and transport services has been dropping through doors in Peterborough.

A random sample of around 4,300 residents will receive the National Highways and Transport public satisfaction survey asking for their views on highways and transport services, from the condition of roads and footpaths to the quality of cycling facilities.

Last year the council was ranked as the 12th best performing highways authority in the country and the best in the eastern region – it has retained this position for the last six years.

The survey aims to give us a better understanding of residents’ views on these vitally important services and how we can look to make improvements. If you receive the survey through your door, please take the time to complete it as your views will be extremely helpful.

Our busy events calendar continues this weekend, with the Italian festival in Cathedral Square on Saturday and Sunday.

Visitors can enjoy a whole range of classic Italian food, as well as a whole host of cooking demonstrations from Italian chefs.

There will also be entertainment including singers Sergio Giuseppe, Antonio and Gabriella who will be singing traditional Italian songs as well as a display of classic Italian cars. The event runs from 12pm until 4pm on both days.

There is also plenty going on at Peterborough Museum including a free interactive exhibition, showcasing a variety of toys and games, from the all-time classics to the crazes that have come and gone throughout the years.

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

If you would like to submit a question about any local issue which is effecting you please send these to asktheleader@peterborough.gov.uk