Peterborough’s a poor relation

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

All the non-Peterborian mayoral wannabesare falling over themselves to reasssure Peterborough’s voters the city won’t be the poor relation when the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough authority begins.

I suppose I can count it as a moral victory after repeatedly voicing my fears Peterborough would play second fiddle to our glamorous neighbour.

But I remain unconvinced.

Tory candidate (and therefore hot favourite to be the first mayor) James Palmer came up with a nice soundbite in an interview in the PT saying: “Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are not at war with each other, we are working together.’’

It’s a nice sentiment but there’s little hard evidence to back it up.

Cambridge - and let’s be clear here our concernsare not with Cambridgeshire but with the city of Cambridge – is the ancient, world famous seat of learning famous for its high-tech developments and expertise that has a global impact.

Peterborough – my adopted home, the birthplace of my children and a place I love – struggles with huge infrastructure problems partly due to uncontrolled immigration and is a world leader in, er, warehousing.

A war would be like the USA invading the Isle Of Man and working together would be like Claudio Ranieri and the Leicester players.

The cities are different beasts with different needs and lumping them together will only produce one winner.

The authority is not even in existance yet but already the city of Cambridge has secured a dealto get £70million for housing –that’s on top of the £100million to be shared across the rest of the county!

Peterborough has secured a promise (not a deal) for a university... Cambridge, I hear, didn’t want one.

Average house price in Cambridge, according to a Google search, is an eye-watering £472,590,while in Peterborough it is £181, 652.

So perhaps my fears that Peterborough will become the poor relation are unfounded... it already is.

Crime figures

I have a lot of sympathy with the police trying to capture the pond life who is carrying out a sustained spate of attacks on parks throughout the city.

So vast is the area he has targeted, unless the police get lucky, this annoying and destructive non-entity has a good chance of evading capture.But if the police’s job wasn’t hard enough they reckon The Carpenter– so-called because of his predilection for using a saw to do his dirty work – might be motivated by a grudge against Peterborough City Council.

Just the 200,000 suspects then!

You’re welcome

We’ve not even reached the Ides of March but I think I already have my favourite Peterborough Telegraph quote of the year.It was made by Croatian woman Aleta Doyle who was attending a celebration of migrants hosted by St John’s Church in the city centre. Mum Aleta, who now lives in Fletton with her family, told the Peterborough Telegraph: “I do not want to be tolerated, I want to be appreciated.’’

I love that – pride, defiance and a desire to belong to her adopted city – all summed up in a dozen words. Good on you, Aleta.

Hate the 80s

There seems to be a huge appetite for 80s pop bands with an outdoor concert set to attract 80,000 fans to Peterborough Arena this summer.

Back in the 80s I wouldn’t have crossed the road to see Kajagoogoo and Five Star. Time has not softened my opinion of them and, 30 years on, I’m thinking of leaving the country to avoid them!

Dry humour!

A headline in last week’s newspaper caught my eye.

It read: New phone app will keep you dry.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think I’ll stick with my umbrella.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

In a shock development Toddlernator the Terrible has become my number one fan.

For most of his young life, he’s been a bit of a mummy’s boy but just of late he seems to have developed an affection for me.

It might be a shared interest in trains (don’t tell him but I’m feigning mine) or maybe he’s angling for a trip to Elland Road to see the mighty Leeds United.

The other day I got in from work to find he and his sister had already had their tea.

Normally, this is the cue for lots of inner secret celebrations by yours truly as it means I’m spared the burden of having to issue the mantra “eat your carrots, each your mash, eat your peas, eat your carrots.’’

But if I thought I was going to be able to eat in peace I was mistaken.

Barely had I raised my fork in anger when T the T strolls into the kitchen.

Grabbing hold of my arm, he ordered: “Come in the lounge, daddy.’’

I replied: “Not yet, I’m eating my tea.’’

With the certainty of a two-year-old who gets what he wants most of the time, he responded: “I’m not eating!’’

He appeared genuinely baffled (and uninterested) at my reasoning. Needless to say after his intervention I wasn’t eating either.