More cash for Peterborough but it’s not enough and it’s not in the right place

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Everybody was delighted that Peterborough had been chosen to pilot a new strategy to bring communities together and teach “British values’’.

But everybody was also at pains to point out that Peterborough doesn’t really have a problem in this area – certainly not compared to other places.

Perhaps everybody was just happy that our cash-strapped city was going to get its hands on some public money and part of a £50million pot (which would buy you roughly half of Paul Pogba).

I can’t deny the scheme is a worthy one, but will it achieve anything?

Let’s assume Peterborough will get roughly £10million – five places have been selected for the scheme. That might be an assumption too far. The PT revealed a few weeks back how the city is habitually under-funded by central government so we might end up with mere crumbs from this new cake.

But among the things we might get are a “network of conversation clubs’’ which seems to be (literally) talking shops, and we all know they don’t get the baby bathed.

Then there’s the promise of a “promotion of British values across the school curriculum’’.

Yet at the same time the city council is scratching its collective head wondering how it is to going to find school places for all the children in the city whatever their ethnicity. Still, perhaps members of all communities can get to know each other better as we spend hours waiting in the A& E department.

The city needs more cash.It needs more cash to improve school results, more cash to support health care and more cash for policing to keep us safe.Come to think of it, I can deny this scheme is a worthy one. It’s a smokescreen that woefully fails to tackle the real issues facing this city.