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New family hubs for Torbay

Monday, 20 February 2023 06:00

By Rob Kershaw, local democracy reporter

Kevin Foster MP Torbay (Image: Andrew Barrand)

MP welcomes Government grant

Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster has welcomed the announcement of ‘trailblazer status’ for new family hub funding.

The scheme is intended to give families a range of support accessible in one place.

Families can use hubs for parental support, housing support and physical and mental healthcare.

A government is giving more than £300 million to 75 local authorities; 14 of which will receive up to an additional £183,000 in their status as ‘trailblazers’. The exact amount of funding is yet to be confirmed.

Trailblazers are tasked with identifying areas of improvement for the hub scheme and providing initial support in more focused areas such as perinatal health, instant feeding and parenting.

According to data from the ministry of housing, communities and local government, just over a fifth of children in Torbay come from income-deprived families.

Mr Foster is pleased Torbay is to be one of the first authorities to receive the family hub grant.

“It’s really welcome that we’ve got the trailblazer status, which will help get some additional funding but also see Torbay being one of the leaders in going ahead first,” he said. “So it’s welcome to do this now to see what we’ve pledged going into the reality of delivery.”

One hub will be established in each town in Torbay, and Mr Foster expects the council to confirm an opening date for the first shortly.

According to the 2021 census, almost a quarter of Torbay’s population is aged 20 or under, so Mr Foster expects a “number of families” to use the services.

“The work will be targeted and looking more towards support needs,” he explained. “But I think, once we know the details of exactly where the hubs will be, the confirmed time for opening – we’re obviously looking forward to council confirming what their exact usage will be – but the facilities will be available for families more generally as well.”

Torbay Council leader Steve Darling (Liberal Democrat, Barton with Watcombe) and Cllr Cordelia Law (Liberal Democrat, Tormohun) have been contacted for more details on the scheme.

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