Opinion: ‘Time will tell on the administration’

Toby Wood, of Peterborough Civic Society writes...

Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 5:00 am
Up the Posh Photo: Toby Wood

The day came and went.

In truth the result was never in doubt although there were a few last-minute nerves on all sides. T

he May 6 election produced no real surprises in Peterborough itself except possibly for the fact that the Green Party now has three councillors in the Orton Waterville ward. How many people thought that would happen 20 years ago? With a few minor alterations and additions, the squad remains largely the same.

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A third of council seats were up for re-election. Presumably that’s where the phrase ‘quality of the final third’ comes from.

Many citizens and supporters believed that 
Peterborough has gone up a division.

Indeed, there has been much promotion of the city, one of the city’s MPs is constantly talking about being “proud of Peterborough”. It is too early to say whether the change is for the better. Many people argue that it is better to be in the same league and compared to places like Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Lincoln or Doncaster than it is to try to compete with traditionally more established places such as Sheffield, Nottingham or Stoke. Time will tell whether Peterborough can demonstrate that it deserves its place in the higher league or whether it should have remained a slightly bigger fish in a smaller pond/league.

However, one thing is clear. Our city is way better than Cambridge or Northampton, results prove that, and thankfully we won’t have to meet them in direct competition any time in the near future.

The captain of the team has changed though. Gone is the doughty, reliable centre-back who ran the show from his defensive position for years. And into his shoes has stepped the bustling midfield terrier. Time will tell if results improve under the new captaincy.

The new regime has promised a raft of changes. Indeed all the pre-match banter was about getting on top of fly-tipping, littering and the dumping of bulky waste. In my own particular neck of the woods our new player has promised to “get tough” on those people who speed down our roads. A few years ago I canvassed the opinion of residents in Newark Avenue, Dogsthorpe, and the overwhelming majority wanted some sort of traffic calming in the street. Unfortunately any proposed measures were opposed by the emergency services.

Newark Avenue is regarded as a key route for emergency vehicles to access the parkway systems.

The Bayard Place stadium is no more, having been turned into flats and although the traditional Town Hall, with its hallowed marbled halls, is currently still in use, many Peterborians wonder how long it will be before there is talk of a new headquarters, possibly even on the Embankment. However, this seems unlikely due to the fact that building on the Embankment would go against the council’s own policies.

With a bigger picture in mind, it will be interesting to see what differences there will be now that the league structure has altered. Although they are still in different leagues, both 
Peterborough and Cambridge now have a new sugar daddy - sorry, sponsor (confusingly called Johnson), one who can provide additional money for local initiatives and who can also fund ‘infrastructure projects’, whatever they are.

Presumably Cambridge will no longer take to the field with ‘CAM Metro’ emblazoned on the front of their shirts. It will be interesting to see what is now adorned across the front of Peterborough’s shirts. Let’s hope it’s more than a mere smiley face. The new regime nationally has promised to narrow the gap between rich and poor so the phrase ‘Up the Posh’ may have to be scrapped.

So, good luck to the new team.

Time will tell if we’ll all be singing the praises of ‘Wayne Fitzgerald’s blue and white army’ or shouting ‘you’re so sh** it’s unbelievable’.

At the end of the season will we be heralding the team’s efforts with a wary two-metre stand-off, an awkward elbow bump or a full-blown team hug?

It’s a results game and we would all much prefer to be over the moon as opposed to sick as parrots.

One thing is certain – if the upcoming season is successful the PT will produce a 16-page souvenir special!