Time to bridge Peterborough’s gap with some joined up thinking

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

Everybody loves a bridge. And everybody wants a bridge.The bridge in question is a new foot/cycle bridge linking the Embankment with the new development at Fletton Quays.

And when I say everybody I mean Peterborough Civic Society, Sustrans, The Peterborough Telegraph and various city councillors.

We all want some joined up thinking and that means joining up the homes, offices and leisure facilities of Fletton Quays with a bridge to the city centre.

There is a problem though. The people who could make this happen are the ruling Conservative group on Peterborough City Council.

Their leader cllr John Holdich has joined the bridge love-in saying he too would like one, but like the parent putting the sweets away he says we can’t have one now, but maybe later.

The problem, ain’t it always, is money. Or to be more accurate, the lack of it and with a price tag of £2.5million it’s a bridge too far, says cllr H.

I’m not going to rant and rave. I’m barely going to harrumph because I know council budgets have been squeezed and we can’t have everything that we want. But I appealto cllr Holdich to look down the back of the council’s collective sofa and see if somehow he can find the cash.

Over the past decade the people of Peterborough have been force-fed a relentless growth agenda led by the city council.

But growth shouldn’t just mean vast warehouses or unwanted homes in villages.

It should also mean amenities and attractions.

It should, ahem, be a bridge to a brighter future.

£2.5million is a lot of dosh – £25 is if you haven’t got it – but come on John, you can do it. After all, £2.1 million was found to revamp Lower Bridge Street.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way... across the Nene.

Laughing matter

I was flattered the leader of the city council cllr John Holdich labelled me the Peterborough Telegraph’s Head Of Comedic Content in his column last week.

Unfortunately for him I’m here all week... every week!

The pride...

I took a phone call at Telegraph Towers last week that warmed the cockles of my heart ( The tempertature of his cockles is now just above freezing - Ed.)

It was from a gentleman inhis late 80s who was visiting friends in Peterborough, he’d only been to the city once before.

He stopped at the Aldi store in Whittlesey Road, Stanground to buy his hosts some flowers and chocolates.

When he got to the checkout to pay, to his dismay he couldn’t find his card.

He told me a man in his 30s who he didn’t know saw there was a problem, came over and handed his card to the cashier saying “I’ll pay for this gentleman.’’

The caller, who wanted to remain anonymous, told me: “I went back to the car and I cried I was so touched.’’

“I’m old not poor. I’ve read things about Peterborough but if all the people are like this.’’

To the man in his 30s, whoever you are, take a bow, sir. You’ve done us all proud.

... and the shame

It took a special sort of scrote to attack frail defenceless 84-year-old Alfia Barnett in her own home.

This big man, who police said could have been in his 30s, is probably still pondering which drugs to buy with his ill-gotten gains. I’m not sure 50p buys you much though.

How do people get so disconnected from society?

To the man in his 30s, whoever you are, hang your head in shame. You’ve disgraced us all.

Pooling resource

I don’t want you to think I’m going soft but I’ve got more praise for Peterborough City Council. Its decision to fund repairs to the tune of £45,000 for St George’s Community Hydrotherapy Pool is totally commendable.

Given that the facility is coming to the end of its life and that the council has committed to building a new pool to open in 2019, the temptation must have been great not to spend that cash, especially as we all know the funding problems the council has.

The 250 people a week who use the pool to help their health and manage their pain will be delighted.

And so should the rest of us be.

One for the road!

I was staggered to read about the drink driver in March who blew 184 in a roadside test – that’s more than five times the legal limit.

A story in last week’s PT revealed the driver was arrested and taken to a police station for questioning.

I trust the first question was: “Why are you such a bloody idiot?’’

Looking into it

The saga of the Cardea hole (see page 6) is an astonishing one. Having looked into it, the city council says developers Persimmon failed to stop digging even after being warned not to, necessitating an injunction.

If people are to be fined for cycling down Bridge Street why not developers who flout planning rules?

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Toddlernator the Terrible and his older sister are showing disturbing cat and dog tendencies ie fighting like.

There are the occasional break in hostilities when they play nicely together.

Mrs T was welling up the other day after she overhead T the T offer his sister his last Smartie.

She responded by hugging him and proclaiminghim “the best brother ever’’.

Mrs T clucked: “They love each other so much.’’

I was not so sure particularly as I can still remember how I used to torment my elder sister when we were kids. “He’s just messing with her head,’’ I said, a suggestion that earned me a dig in the ribs from Mr T.

For now T the T is at a physical disadvantage in any battle with his sister, but that won’t be the case for long.

Let’s see if he hangs on to his ‘‘best brother ever’’ title when he’s sat on her and refusing to let her watch her favourite TV programme.