Faye’s brave family succeeded where the Government failed

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

I can’t begin to imagine how grieving dad Neil Burdett finds the will to go on with life. One year ago Neil and his wife Jenny lost their two-year-old daugher Faye to meningitis B.

Despite their devastation the family publicised their tragedy in a bid to try and save other parents from the terrible fate they had suffered.

That publicity led to a petition to Parliament that was signed by more than three quarters of a million people calling on the Government to extend the vaccination to all children.

The plea fell on deaf ears with the Government saying it was not a good use of money – although it will surprise no-one that ministers have not released details of how they come to such a decision.

As a sop the Government minister then responsible promised a public awareness campaign.

One year on from Faye’s death, dad Neil has launched a blistering attack on the Government accusing it of complacency and saying its decision not to extend the jab was “insulting and devastating’’.

To add insult to injury he says the Government has done “absolutely nothing’’ on its promise to raise awareness.

As the father of two young children who were not eligible for the jabs and whose lives have not been sufficiently valued by the Government I share his pain and anger.

We decided to pay for the jabs privately at the cost of £440. It was the best money we ever spent – but I resent having to have done it.

It will be small consolation to Neil and his wife, but we took the decision after reading about Faye.

They succeeded where the Government failed and raised our awareness.

Turn it down!

It was fascinating to read in the PT about former Orton Wistow pupil Carey Hackett who is now leading a glamorous lifestyle as a top cruise ship singer. She has been joined by many famous artists including singer Pharrell, DJ Fatboy Slim and heavy metal bandDef Leppard.

Hang on, Def Leppard on a crusie ship? Phew! rock ‘n’ roll...they’ll be doing a tour of care homes next.

Park strife

Who knows what’s going on in the mind of a vandal – particularly a mindless one!

The systematic and deplorable attacks on Ferry Meadows suggest somebody has a grudge. About what though?

Surely no-one could get that angry about having to pay for car parking?

Holiday pay

I don’t understand the need to incentivise the pay package of Thomas Cook chief Peter Fankhauser.

Many shareholders were uneasy about a plan that could see him earn a bonus of 165 per cent of his basic salary.

I say basic, but that’s probably the last thing you can say about a wage packet of £703,000 per annum. Most of us are employed in the hope/assumption that we will do as good a job as we can and for that we receive a basic salary.

But under this scheme if Mr Fankhauser does his job better his salary will soar higher than one of the Peterborough-based company’s jets.

Perhaps as well as running the company he’s going to start flying planes, making welcome speeches on the coach transfer to the hotel andserving pina coladas with a smile?

Get in the picture

Please excuse an unashamed plug for my long standing colleague and ace snapper David Lowndes who is doing a talk for charity.

It’s at the Salvation Army Citadel, 1203 Bourges Boulevard, on Wednesday, March 15 from 7.30pm. Tickets are a tenner from the Visitor Information Centre in Bridge Street or call 01733 452336. Proceeds go to the Mayor of Peterborough’s charities.

I promise it will be more entertaining than Coronation Street so I’d urge you to go along (not least so you can report back if he slags me off!).

Diary Of A Bad Dad

We had a very excited two-year-old on our hands on Saturday when the Thornton family paid a visit to Thomas at Nene Valley Railway.

Toddlernator the Terrible is a huge Thomas fan and talks about little else from the minute he gets up. He’s got the books, the puzzles, the models and even the wellies. So while the rest of us were freezing our buffers off he was glowing with delight as we boarded the train at Wansford and sat back asThomas chuffed down the line. I’d like to apologise to the good-natured volunteer who T The T repeatedly referred to as The Fat Controller despite him being the possessor of a whippet like frame.

As soon as he got home T the T demanded to watch Thomas on the telly and lined up his models to tell them he’d seen the ‘real Thomas’.

I don’t think his train obsession will be broken until he’s suffered an overcrowded and delayed ‘real’ train.