I often say how proud I am of Peterborough – although there is clearly work to be done to make it even better, writes Paul Bristow, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Peterborough.
But nothing has made me more proud of the city where I grew up, than how we have rallied after the collapse of Thomas Cook.
Like so many people across the country, I was devastated when it collapsed.
My 1990s’ ‘Pizza’ Peterborough United away shirt boasts faded Thomas Cook sponsorship. Everyone here knows someone who works, or who has worked, at Thomas Cook.
On the morning that liquidation was announced, I spoke with the Business Secretary and made the case for jobs in Peterborough.
Now a task force has been set up to look at practical support for local people. And crucially demanding answers on how the company collapsed under so much debt.
I contacted TUI about their involvement in jobs fairs for affected staff in Peterborough.
And Hays Travel have announced the purchase of 555 stores countrywide. I’ll keep pushing for more opportunities to prioritise jobs and get people into work across Peterborough.
We’ve been working together to get things done, and that has made me proud.
Proud of Peterborough businesses who have come together to offer jobs and opportunities to Thomas Cook staff who have been made redundant.
Proud of Peterborough United and the Peterborough Phantoms who have been generous and offered staff free tickets, building on our community spirit.
Proud of our City Council and Opportunity Peterborough who held a jobs fair for affected former staff.
Proud of recruitment companies who have offering free CV checks and training help.
Proud of local small businesses who have gone the extra mile – and offered practical help like free haircuts and give free shaves ahead of interviews for new jobs, and the Solstice pub that hosted a free engagement party for a former Thomas Cook employee in Harry’s Bar.
And most of all I am proud of Thomas Cook staff, many of whom are still helping people.
This is what makes Peterborough special, what makes our city a community.