No more promises. Promise!

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire breakfast show host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire breakfast show host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

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Promises, promises, promises, it’s been quite a week for them. David Cameron kicked it off by giving an assurance that he will not stand for a third term as Prime Minister, regardless of any mass displays ofpublic affection between now and then.

Some people have questioned the arrogance of a person ruling out an honour before it has been bestowed upon you, and others have questioned why he didn’t go one step further.

However, it has also inspired other political figures to make promises about fictitious future events:

Ed Miliband has insisted he will not be installing a third kitchen, however tempting the offer at Homebase this weekend. Nigel Farage has turned down all requests to appear on any further editions of Come Dine with Me and Peterborough Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate, Darren Fower, has dropped plans for a new game show he was working on called, “Like My Wad?”

There was another pledge this week from Peterborough City Council leader, Marco Cereste, who has given an assurance that the much anticipated North Westgate development will finally see the light of day.

I know that we have been waiting for this longer than Richard III has for a decent burial (or the “People’s Prince” as he has been dubbed by Tony Blair) but planning is going in shortly and building work should begin early next year, with the new hotel, cinema and eateries opening their doors, alongside the Brewery Tap pub, sometime in 2018.

Incidentally, on the subject of the burial, was I the only one disappointed by the lack of dragons, witches and suits of armour at this medieval bash and will his descendants now be hit with a massive bill for overdue parking charges?

The cynics amongst you will say that when it comes to our illustrious council leader, you will believe the new development when you see it, that you have perhaps heard it all before.

Now as many of you know I am no flag waver for Mr Cereste or any other politician in this city - I treat them all with the same amount of suspicion - but like him or loathe him, surely only the most dogmatic amongst us can argue against the fact that the centre of Peterborough has changed markedly for the better recently, under his stewardship.

It was a place of stagnation for years and the butt of many jokes by those from outside the city, yet as I sat in the sunshine last Friday outside the Argo lounge, enjoying a coffee with friends, it felt like a completely different place – cafes and restaurants, alive, bustling with people, all enjoying a city centre that just five years ago they couldn’t wait to flee from at the first opportunity.

I grant you, the city is still far from perfect and whilst developments like North Westgate can only enhance the city’s reputation, we have to work harder on attracting the higher end jobs with the bigger salaries.

We are still not building enough affordable housing for people who need a roof over their heads, and we are sitting on a care time bomb which nobody seems capable of solving.

We also have to urgently get to the bottom of the debacle over the opening of the University technical college and train up those youngsters who won’t ever go to University, so that they too can have hope for the future. A future in a city that is at last starting to fulfil it’s promise.