Bridging the gap

Do you miss Marco Cereste? I do (that should sort out my mail bag for next week!).

Thursday, 10th August 2017, 3:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:16 pm
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -

The much maligned former leader of Peterborough City Council had his critics, but among the warehouses and roadworks he was also a champion for aspiration.

Okay, a retractable roof for the lido, water taxis and cable cars to the city centre might have been a tad ambitious for a city council that couldn’t even police a cycling ban on Bridge Street, but at least he had a vision.

The current regime in Bridge Street seem obsessed with budgets and cuts (unless it’s for councillors and top officers’ salaries).

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If Cllr Cereste was still in charge I think there would be a much better chance of getting a foot/cycle bridge linking the Fletton Quays development.

Laughably, one Tory councilllor accused the Peterborough Telegraph of jumping on the bandwagon with our Build The Bridge campaign.

As the Tory councillors have refused to fund it, it’s not much of a bandwagon is it?

In fact it’s probably the first bandwagon in history with no wheels.

Unhelpfully, council leader John Holdich has said the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to fund it.

Yet this gravy train has coachloads of cash with mayor James Palmer planning to spend £1million of the public’s money creating jobs for 17 new officers.

A few weeks back I said the city council was looking at appointing a Senior Salary Monitoring Officer to, er, monitor the salaries of its senior officers.

It was a joke and a product of my fevered imaginaton, but in all seriousness, if this spending in local government goes on at this rate we really will need such an officer.

Mr Palmer by the way is also conducting a review into local government in this area saying we are over-governed. As the head of another tier of government recently imposed on the people that is a breathtaking statement - even by the standard of politicians.

Equally breathtaking, but in a different way, was the pledge by Peterborough’s MP Fiona Onasanya.

She promised to spend £800 of her own money every month to help tackle flytipping in the city.It might be like putting a plaster on a broken leg but it was very welcome.

Perhaps she’ll start a new trend with more politicinas putting their money where their mouths are.

Who knows perhaps one of them will buy us a bridge?

Or a new bandwagon at least.