Nigel Thornton: A million thank-yous needed for hospice

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
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I nor any of my loved ones have ever needed to use the facilities at Peterborough’s Sue Ryder Hospice.

But like most of us I am acutely aware that one day we might

Thorpe Hall has been central to the city’s life since it was built in the 17th century – from being a centre of power, to a place where life literally began for many Peterborians to its present day role as a hospice.

A magnificent building, it does have severe limitations for use as a 21st century hospice. That is why a £6million appeal was launched to build a new state of the art hospice on the site.

As ever the people of Peterborough have responded magnificently and £5million has been raised already.

But now the final push is on to raise another million in the 12 weeks before the first patients are admitted.

The people of the Peterborough area are very lucky to have this hospice and I think they know it.

Any hospice, it goes without saying, does important and vital work, but everything I have ever read or heard about Thorpe Hall tells me it produces an outstanding service.

Time after time patients and their families talk about the superb quality of care they received at a time when they needed it most.

I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to tell anybody what to do with their hard-earned money, but if you’re looking for a good cause you couldn’t do better than donate and help the hospice hit its £6million target.

I reckon if a certain beer company did hospices they would do Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall.

Shame on Peterborough City Council for refusing to say how much it received for selling off former care home Greenwood House.

So much for transparency.

The council chose to hide behind “commercial confidentiality’’ which you can file alongside “sub judice’’ and “data protection’’ as mealy-mouthed excuses public bodies use to fob off the public.

City council leader Marco Cereste was at pains to get us all involved in the budget process.

So Cllr Cereste, how are we, the taxpayers, supposed to make an informed comment on the budget when you won’t tell us how much the council gets for flogging off the family silver?

On March 6 The PT reported: “Health bosses in Peterborough are drawing up action plans to ensure services are not swamped by a surge in patients during the four day Easter holidays.’’

On April 7, the PT reported: “Patients are waiting for beds at Peterborough City Hospital after an increasing number of emergency admissions during the Easter break.’’

Oh well back to the fag packet, sorry, I mean the drawing board.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage propelled Peterborough into the national headlines with his comments about the city and its immigration problems. Mr Farage’s claim, that children don’t play in the streets anymore because of high levels of immigration and a lack of integration, was met with some derision.

We shouldn’t be too hard on the UKIP leader whose knowledge of Peterborough presumably comes from having once parked his purple taxi in Cathedral Square.

After all he has achieved the impossible – getting Tory Stewart Jackson, Labour’s Lisa Forbes and Lib Dem Darren Fower to agree on something.

What a statesman.

The planning department at Peterborough City Council is in the running for a national award for the excellence of its service.

But I want to know is that down to just good luck or did they plan it?

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Now that Toddler T is a threenager she is picking up new skills and behaviour at a right old rate of knots.

One of her new skills is fibbing – I can’t call it lying as like with everything else she does it is almost unbearably cute and lying is such an ugly word.

Me and Mrs T first cottoned on to it a few weeks back when just before bedtime one night we couldn’t find Parge – her little pink dog and undisputed favourite toy.

Me and Mrs T were almost beside ourselves in panic as we feared we’d never be able to getToddler T to sleep if we couldn’t find Parge.

Toddler T was relatively calm, a little concerned but handling it better than her near hysterical parents.

Eventually, we found Parge behind a curtain – it was a joyous moment for all.

The next night the same thing happened with similar reactions. We were just about to give up when Toddler T found her – in the doll’s house.

Our relief gave way to suspicion. “You knew Parge was there all along,’’ I quizzed Toddler T.

A fibber she might be, but she’s not a good liar as she cracked into a huge smile and started laughing her head off.