Election brings new colour to city

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
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Elections can be humourless and sombre affairs with many of those concerned taking themselves way too seriously.

Of course in Peterborough there is always intrigue and comedy value to be found behind the scenes, due to the characters involved, but there is seldom anything to lighten the mood in front of camera.

Granted, we did get a slightly odd finger gesture from our former supreme leader and newly elected member for Hampton, Marco Cereste, which hinted at the number of weeks it would be before he set about making another bid for the top job, but there wasn’t any sign of Big Bird, Batman or Dangermouse.

Elsewhere they were more fortunate when it came to light relief.

In Sheffield, Elmo from Sesame Street crashed the party and attempted to get his big red hands on power, sadly his campaign was brought to the electorate by the number 58; 58 votes that is.

But better news in Cannock Chase for “Pitman Pete,” the Hednesford Town mascot, whose Davy Lamp outshone the competition to win a seat on the council. Sadly, Paul Woodhead will not be allowed to wear his helmet on council premises and his canary will have to 
be looked after by a neighbour.

Peterborough City Council is now though the council that “You can really call your own,” thanks to the election of a number of my old Hereward FM colleagues.

Stay tuned (Not arf, my great mate) because I have no doubt that sometime soon Wayne Fitzgerald, Steve Allen and Dave King will be launching a council request line; when you ring up be ready with the phrase that pays; “Peterborough City Council – the capital for environmental city aspirational thinking of thoughts.” Everyone’s a winner.

The election of a load of old DJs wasn’t the only strange thing going on locally though; the Tories took control of the council despite what has seemed like a constant stream of criticism of their stewardship of the city over recent years. It was the only Conservative council gain in the country; no wonder David Cameron was back in town quicker than he could say “Don’t stand me next to that Stewart Jackson bloke.”

Werrington went totally independent, with local passports now required to visit Tesco’s (see John Fox for application forms) and proposed border crossings on the Fulbridge Road and at the Cock Inn. People from Market Deeping will have to drive round.

The Liberal party swept across Eastern Avenue, Newark Avenue and the rest of Dogsthorpe, spreading their message of equality and reminding everyone that they are not the Liberal Democrats.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats, who I feel I must remind you, are not the Liberal party, almost doubled their seats and took control of Gunthorpe and Paston before turning the air yellow in Walton; personally I blame the rape seed.

The City is now divided into different coloured pockets, all with very diverse opinions on the way forward; some areas accepting the status quo and others looking for very different alternatives.

Labour too had their successes with Bretton and Central Ward going exclusively red; areas that suffer from much deprivation and ones where you would expect the Labour party to do well.

But their inability to get their message across outside of their traditional heartlands and challenge seriously for control of the council must worry their virtually anonymous leader.

Maybe fancy dress is the answer; Vote Scooby!