A disillusioned electorate

Congratulations and good luck to James Palmer the first mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Thursday, 11th May 2017, 2:15 pm
Updated Friday, 12th May 2017, 2:27 pm
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

As expected the Tory candidate romped home – but party politics were not the key issue here –foisting another unwanted and expensive tier of Government on a disenchanted electorate was the issue.

Less than a quarter of Peterborough voters could be bothered to cast a vote in this election.

And that means that despite convincingly beating his opponents only one in 10 Peterborians voted for Mr Palmer.

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It’s a mandate, but not much of one.

Still there were some fine words from Mr Palmer about treating all areas in the county fairly. If he delivers on that promise he’ll have no problem with me.

He says moving forward on creating a university of Peterborough is a priority.

It better be, as that was the carrot the Government beat us with to agree to having a mayor.

And politicians would never tell us porkies would they?

Let’s hope Mr Palmer’s first 100 days in office go more smoothly than Donald Trump’s.

The omens at the count were not good. Seasoned observers described the scenes as the most chaotic they’d ever seen – no wi-fi, no phone signal and precious little communication.

Mr Palmer has a laudable aim of creating an area of hi-tech excellence to rival Silicon Valley. And good luck with that.

Thanks again

You might recall I’ve had some problems with my bin being left across my drive.

When I arrived home last Wednesday I was delighted to find there was no sign of a bin blocking my way.

But hang on there was no sign of my bin at all. My neighbours had taken their bins in but there was one left several yards away on the opposite side of my street (on the road).

It turned out that was my bin. I was impressed, next week I’m fully expecting them to leave it on the roof of my house.

Credit where credit’s due to Amey and Peterborough City Council for providing a truly rubbish service.



As general election fever mounts the political parties are jockeying for position.

The PT received a press release from Labour about its candidate for North West Cambridgeshire. It started off in standard style with candidate Iain Ramsbottom establishing his local credentials and attacking the Tories but then things went wrong... and the release went on: “People here in North Nottingham need a local representative that will put them first.’’

Oh dear! I know there’s about as much chance of Labour winning North West Cambs as there is of me being Barcelona’s next centre forward,but they really must do better.


Vote for, er, them

Talking of politics, UKIP’s decision not to field a candidate in Peterborough is laughable.

What is the point of a political party if it doesn’t contest elections?

In the last election, UKIP polled a not insignificant 16 per cent of the vote in Peterborough.I wonder if their supporters appreciate being told how to vote? Although judging by the results of last week’s local elections they already know.


Paying the price

A few weeks back I made a case for paying councillors more. My reasoning was that it would hopefully mean more able councillors.

A perfect illustration of the need for this came with the news a development company had won an appeal to build 80 homes in Barnack despite strong objections by villagers

The company was successful because it was able to show to an independent inspector that the council did not have a five-year housing supply.

The people in Barnack will now have to pay a heavy price because Peterborough City Council failed to get its ducks in a row.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

The Thornton family went shopping for a new pair of ballet shoes for Schoolgirl T on Sunday (I know my life is so exciting!).

As Princess Twinkletoes ‘ummed and ‘ahhed about which pair daddy should buy, Toddlernator the Terrible was let off his leash (out of his pushchair) and allowed the freedom of John Lewis.

He was well behaved. Ish. He ran about a lot, laughed a lot and I was close by to ensure he didn’t push over some carefully constructed display. But the whole experience made me feel uneasy. As a kid I was told off by Yorkshire Mother so many times for touching things that even now I expect a slap on the wrist every time I pick up a cucumber in Sainsbury’s.

I’m determined to overcome my conditioning and chill out even if some disapproving looks come our way.

If you don’t like to see a two-year-old enjoying life, that’s your problem, not ours.