All change '“ but manage it well

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
A wise man once told me that change was inevitable and that the only way to deal with it, was to acknowledge it and then embrace it.

You have to accept that life will move on and that the world as you know it, is bound to look very different in five or ten years.

I mean, who would have thought that one day we would all be typists or that my entire twelve-inch record collection could be stored on a device that sits in my pocket, a device that also takes pictures, shoots video and communicates with the world?

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We had no idea that our investment in Friends Reunited would turn out to be completely worthless and that those nightmare-ish school reunions could have been avoided - if only Facebook had been invented 10 years earlier!

Peterborough has changed remarkably too in the twenty-six years that I have lived and worked in the city.

Fountains and crazy paving have transformed Cathedral Square, alongside restaurants like Bills and Starbucks and soon Wagamama’s - who knows, one day we might even get a Debenhams.

The city has turned from a sleepy little village, where everybody knew everybody, into a bustling, cosmopolitan metropolis, with an ever increasing population.

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This enormous transformation has undoubtedly been scary for some and about as welcome as a cup of tea from President Putin for others.

The rise in population, fuelled in part by a rise in immigration, has also changed the genetic make-up of our city and for those that have lived here most of their lives, it is another “change” that they have to trust and understand.

These are people who grew up in a city which was once whiter than an Oscars’ short list, people who have been forced to adjust to different voices, cultures and traditions in a very short space of time.

In various pockets of Peterborough these days English is not the first language and fish and chips is certainly not the staple diet and they don’t understand it.

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This is not racism, it is a fear of the unknown, a fear of change, of a world which is leaving them behind.

The fault lies with politicians of all persuasion, who have constantly let these people down, by failing to take their views into account and explain and implement their ideas in a carefully managed way.

That failure at the very top has bred mistrust and failed to accentuate the positives that immigration has to offer. It has also brought increasing pressure to bear on this city’s infrastructure.

Now is the time for some straight talking.

Schools, healthcare and the police are all struggling to cope with the demands on their time from an ever increasing amount of people.

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In common sense land, more folks should equal more resources, more money, but instead we are told by government that we have to cut services and manage our budgets better.

Cambridgeshire police face losing officers when violent crime is going through the roof and many ex policemen and women I speak to now wouldn’t do the job for all the awards in Ant and Dec’s trophy cabinet.

The council are having to slash budgets when more people than ever need help and our schools struggle to educate our young because there are thirty in a class and many of them need extra help.

Change may be unavoidable but it’s only good for you if it is managed properly.