WARNING: Peterborough councillors are thinking outside the box

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’m all for thinking outside the box so well done to Peterborough city councillors who have come up with the imaginative idea of using city centre car parks as travellers’ sites.

I’m sure it will get thetravellers’ vote as they have shown a liking for these locations having rocked up recently at Bishop’s Road and the Key Theatre car parks.

An attempt to find permanent ‘short stay’ places for travellers has been going on for years.

If I was a cynic (ho, ho) or a user of management-speak I might say it had been “kicked into the long grass’’.

Unfortunately, this grass isn’t long enough to hide the problem.

But why has it taken so long to find a solution wheneveryone agrees finding sites is key to putting a stop to travellers pitching up in unsuitable places like Bretton water park?

Perhaps setting up an all-party working group to look at the issue was just a clever ploy by the ruling Tory council.

You can hear the cries of ‘don’t blame us’ from here.

The car park idea will surely be dismissed – it is barmy after all – but I hope it doesn’t deter councillors from indulging in some creative thinking to solve some of the city’s seemingly unsolvable problems.

Perhaps we could help rough sleepers by building a homeless hostel but design it to look like a shop frontage?

Or we could have a section of Bridge Street reserved for cyclists complete with stunt pedestrians disguised as frail old people and policemen looking the other way?

Or the next time an education league table is published we could just turn it upside down.

Or we could make fly-tipping a sport with the winner getting free bulky waste collection for life and their own personal ‘Day Of Action’ with a community clear-up team.

Or we could solve the housing crisis by evicting people and moving in homeless folk in their place.

Sorry about the last one, I’m just getting silly now.

I’ll get back in my box.

Shock result

A Tweet from my colleagues at Radio Cambridgeshire read: Boat Race teams to be announced.

I’ll take a stab in the dark and guess at Oxford and Cambridge!

Birthing pains

I despair of my country some times. In the NHS we have the greatest piece of social engineering in the history of mankind but through a sorry and embarrassing combination of neglect, political dogma and sheer unadulterated incompetence by politicians and managers entrusted with its well being we are attempting to destroy it in small digestible parts. The latest sees a move to end IVF treatment on the NHS in Cambridgeshire. It might be expensive but for goodness sake Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world yet we are looking down the back of the sofa to find pennies to keep the NHS going. Patients, doctors and nurses deserve better.

Criminal record

There’s a lot more to modern day policing than feeling the collar of a wrong ’un.

Which might explain why Cambridgeshire police was rated as good by inspectors who also pointed out they weren’t very good at investigating crime!

Diary Of A Bad Dad

You’ve probably seen the BBC clip of the professor doing an interview from the office in his home only to be rudely interrupted by his toddler and baby.

It confirms why I’ve never wanted to work from home, and why now I have young children it’s less appealing than being trapped in a lift with Piers Morgan.

A day at work can be long and hard but compared to a day with the kids, it’s a walk in the park. A walk in the park that is without kids.

A walk in the park with kids is very stressful and usually involves multiple fallings over, dramas with (“he’s very friendly’’) dogs, and worst of all, the ceremonial dropping of the ‘only bought 30 seconds ago’ ice cream.

That said I’m all for having a Bring Your Toddler To Work day just so my colleagues could share my pain.

I’m sure Toddlernator the Terrible would charm them for an hour or so but after that I’d like to see how they’d cope with incessant yatter about Thomas the Tank Engine.