Pamela and Dick’s road rage

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

In the end it wasn’t a bad summer... unless you live near the roadworks at junction 20 of Paston Parkway.

While the rest of us were heading for our back gardens to enjoy the sun, the good people of Harebell Close were close to the edge. Windows were shut and heads stuck under pillows.

This summer has been a living hell for people like Pamela Aldington and Dick Hughes of Harebell Close.

All day and all week the couple and their neighbours have suffered the incessant noise of roadworks.

Pamela said: “The vibration is terrible, it frightens the dog. It’s like an earthquake.’’

Pamela and Dick don’t strike me as trouble-makers or moaners, more like ordinary decent Peterborians put in a horrible situation.

The work is being carried out by Peterborough City Council and their response to the story was little more than a collective shoulder shrug.

The work it says is vital because “our roads are not built for the level of growth that we are due to experience over the next 10 years.’’

I don’t dispute that but Pamela and Dick and others who are living the area are paying a heavy (and disproportionate) price for progress.

Why hasn’t the council offered these poor people some compensation? It wouldn’t stop the noise but perhaps £500 a household would have funded a week’s holiday and a much needed break from the racket.

I don’t know how many households are affected as badly as Pamela and Dick’s but even if there were 100 it would only cost £50,000.

In a project costing £6,300,000 that doesn’t seem too much. And considerably less than the £800,000 of our money the council is going to spend to put right the ill-fated Fletton Parkway roadworks.

The council though is having none of it and said: “This is not a case of negligence or nuisance on the council’s part so we would not be under any obligation to compensate for the noise.’’

It should have added the word ‘legal’ before obligation because it certainly has a moral one.

Made up for you

One of the best things about being a man and there are lots – not having to give birth, being able to wee standing up – is not having to wear make-up.

Of course, women don’t have to wear it either but most of them seem to want to including my four-year-old daughter.

Even so I, and every single male I’ve mentioned it to, were bewildered by the hysteria that greeted the announcement that MAC cosmetics store is coming to Queensgate.

The only thing I can imagine that would get Peterborough men so excited would be if Lionel Messi signed for Posh.

You’ll be for it

The only way we are not going to get lumbered with a devolution deal that will see us once more playing second fiddle to snooty Cambridge, is if the Government pulls the plug.

The laughable “public consultation’’ has, according to the councils pushing this unnecessary tier of government, it has been backed by a majority of the Cambridgeshire public.

But even if you accept the claims of accuracy by the pollsters – and they never get general elections wrong do they? – the councils’ own figures give a lie to that conclusion.

The part of the poll in which people were not directly contacted gave these results.

Support for the principle of devolution – 55% for, 37% opposed

Should powers be devolved from Government to district, city and county councils as part of a combined authority –44% for, 47% opposed

Support for a mayor as part of a combined authority to access the benefits of the proposed deal – 31% for, 59% opposed.

Only the answer to the first question backs devolution but its so broad as to be meaningless.

It’s like my boss asking me if I support the principle of doubling my wages... without mentioning that he intends to triple my workload.

The cheek of it

In a list of the 50 worst albums ever Mr Blobby came first (last?) followed by the Cheeky Girls. Former Jack Hunt schooboy Aston Merrygold and his mates in JLS came in a creditable ninth, which seems a bit harsh. Although I have to admit, despite their mega-succcess I couldn’t hum a note or name a single song of theirs.

Hip op

I was intrigued by a tweet from the official account of Peterborough City Hospital. It read: Did you know that our emergency teams are rocking a new look?

Which it turns out means they have a new uniform.

And there was another tweet which included a ‘shout-out’ to a member of staff.

Have they employed a DJ to man their Twitter account?

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Today is a sad day for this column as it marks the retirement of Schoolgirl T.

A week into her academic life I’ve decided to let her get on with school without having to worry about her dad making smart Aleck remarks about her in this newspaper.

I’m sure I’ll find plenty of other ways to embarrass her.

Her retirement does though provide an opportunity for Toddlernator the Terrible to take centre stage.

I think he’s ready for it.

He is currently obsessed with octopuses (octopi?) and insists I draw him one at every opportunity. Mrs T, in a rare case of parental laissez faire has allowed the children to chalk on the patio. I don’t approve but as usual that counts for little and now it is littered with badly drawn octopuses. Despite my B in O Level art, Mrs T, who seems to think she’s the next Brian Sewell, slammed my efforts. “That one’s only got six legs and,’’ she added increduously, “that one’s got five!’’

Did Picasso get this sort of grief?