Why aren’t Peterborough people proud of their home city?

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

Is Peterborough really the worst place to live in Britain? It is according to the website ILivehere.co.uk.

Its claim is based on a survey it says had 50,000 respondents but its statistical validity is up for question to say the least.

The survey and Peterborough’s place at the top/bottom of the list got national and local coverage – not good news for those trying to market the city.

Predictably, there was a minor outcry by some taking umbrage at the ranking, a few agreed, and the vast majority couldn’t care less either way.

And that is one of Peterborough’s problems.

It is not the worst place (or anywhere near it for that matter) to live.

But it’s a matter of pride and not enough people who live here have it in their home city.

Before I rocked up in Peterborough I’d lived in Leeds, Cardiff, Southampton, London, Melbourne (the one in Australia), York, Sheffield and Hull. All of them were fantastic places, but boy, all of them had some major problems.

But, from my own personal survey (which is probably about as scientific as ILivehlere’s), I can tell you the inhabitants had a huge pride in their hometown be it by birth or adoption.

That is one thing I don’t see enough of in Peterborough.

Many older Peterborians yearn for the days when the city was no more than a large market town, and newer residents (and by newer I mean from the Development Corporation time onwards) seem not to have developed any affinity for the city.

The other towns in the ‘top ten worst’ are all to be found along the east-west corridor of northern England taking in Lancashire and Yorkshire – an area (or at least half of it) very dear to my heart.

With the exception of Hull – a fantastic and wrongly maligned city – I don’t have much knowledge of them, but I bet the people who live there are proud of their hometowns, warts and all.

Perhaps the PT should launch a Pride In Peterborough campaign?