Opinion: What will Marco’s Peterborough legacy be?

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

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Nationally, the political earthquake might have happened in Scotland but locally the earth moved in Stanground Central. Council leader Marco Cereste has lost his seat, trailing in third place behind his Conservative colleague Ray Bisby and UKIP’s John Whitby.

Always a controversial politician, in the end it turned out that more people loathed him then loved him.

Water taxis, the lid on the lido, brown bins, and, of course wind turbines and solar panels out Newborough way ensured that everybody had an opinion on Marco Cereste.

Not least the city’s MP Stewart Jackson with whom Mr Cereste had several well-publicised clashes despite the fact that both proudly displayed the blue rosette of the Tory Party.

Today, not many will be mourning the end of the Marco era, but maybe in the weeks and months ahead his legacy may be viewed more kindly.

What shouldn’t be doubted,is that Marco loved his home city and wanted the best for it. He had energy, vision and the drive to promote an aggressive growth agenda at a time of national austerity and when the city council had millions and millions of pounds lopped off its budget.

The city centre has been regenerated, and there have been plenty of other wins along the way for the council leader.

With Stewart Jackson retaining his seat and the Tory vote seemingly holding up well in other council wards it will be hard for Mr Cereste not to take this result personally.

He has a thick skin, perhaps, too thick and perhaps we have not seen the last of him in local politics.

Soon we will have a new leader of the council - he or she might just find that they have an harder act to follow than they first thought.