Opinion: ‘We don’t want to be short changed’

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow writes his regular column for the Peterborough Telegraph...

Peterborough, UK Photo: Shutterstock
Peterborough, UK Photo: Shutterstock

It’s been another busy week. One thing I have really enjoyed is seeing bits of normality returning across the city.

Even the simple things, like people getting a pint at the bar.

There was a strong push to delay the return of our freedoms.

It wasn’t an easy decision. Watching the steady fall in coronavirus cases gives me another reason to think the government got this call right.

Generally, it seems people are using their common sense.

There is some distancing in public, but voluntarily. There are masks in shops, but by choice.

That’s how it should be. Our draconian Covid laws, which were necessary to get here, can be put back in a box marked “emergency use only”. I hope they stay there.

Meanwhile, the economic news continues to get better. I certainly found that on my visit to Baker Perkins, a fantastic Peterborough manufacturer employing over 300 people. Most of their staff stay with them for years and develop their careers in engineering. It was a privilege to see.

Likewise, two visits proved that our civic life is back. The Royal British Legion lunch not only celebrated their past work, but set the challenge for their Poppy Appeal this autumn. If you can help, please do get involved.

I joined our local Sikh community to commemorate the ninth Guru, Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji. A very warm welcome from a super Peterborough community.

On all my visits, when I got the chance, I asked people for their views on the boundary proposals. Plenty of you also got in touch with me.

I have found overwhelming support for having ‘Peterborough’ in the name of both constituencies that cover our city. In fact, some of you have given me extra arguments in favour!

So here, in no particular order, are your top six reasons why the Boundary Commission should give Peterborough two MPs:

1. We all live in Peterborough, but only half of us live in a constituency called Peterborough. This is really confusing!

2. The south of our city isn’t rural Cambridgeshire. Fletton, Woodston, the Ortons, Hampton and Stanground aren’t bits of “North West Cambridgeshire”. They are the southern half of our city, with the same issues and needs.

3. More than 70% of people who live in “North West Cambridgeshire” actually live in Peterborough, within Peterborough City Council wards – and the rest are in the Peterborough-facing bits of Huntingdonshire.

4. Every city of our size has at least two named MPs. Norwich, Luton, Swindon and Oxford get two named constituencies – Bolton and Sunderland get three! Why are we the only city getting short changed?

5. Northern villages like Glinton shouldn’t be lumped together with Ramsey. It doesn’t make any sense for Peakirk or Northborough to be put with Huntingdonshire.

6. The commission has proposed it before. We would already have a ‘Peterborough North’ and a ‘Peterborough South’, if the last boundary changes had gone through.

Peterborough deserves to be in the name of both seats.

You can give your views by going to the website: bcereviews.org.uk, enter your postcode, select ‘Make a comment’ and tell them that we all live in Peterborough.