REACTION: New Conservative councillor pledges to fight development plans for Peterborough village

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The Conservatives kept a firm grip on the Town Hall with an important by-election victory yesterday, and their new councillor is vowing to fight the city council’s plans to open up his ward for further development.

Nigel Simons triumphed in Eye, Thorney and Newborough to give the Conservatives a 30th seat on the 60 seat council, meaning it is unlikely that the party will have difficulty in passing key legislation such as the budget.

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye.  Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144524009

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye. Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144524009

Nigel, who is the son of the former Mayor of Peterborough George Simons, who was present at the count at the Manor Farm Community Centre in Eye, took more than half the votes to retain the seat for the Tories following the resignation of David Sanders.

And he said he will join fellow Conservative ward councillors Steve Allen and Richard Brown in opposing plans from the council to include 250 more homes in the village of Eye in Peterborough’s next local plan.

He said: “We need more infrastructure. It really concerns me that people will be moving to Eye but there will not be enough places in the school.”

Nigel hopes he can make his dad proud as a councillor, and he said he intends to get on well with opposition members once he takes up his seat at the Town Hall.

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye.  Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144413009

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye. Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144413009

He added: “I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can. I want to try and make a difference in my ward.

“Fly-tipping is an issue and so is speeding.

“We need to get all the parties working together. That’s what I’m really about.”

Labour saw a 15 per cent rise in its vote share, with Christian DeFeo coming second on 555 votes. He said: “This is a tremendous result for Labour. We polled very low in the 2016 election.

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye.  Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144513009

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye. Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144513009

“It was a wonderful campaign and I met so many wonderful people. I’m going to keep working for them - I will not disappear.”

UKIP MEP Patrick O’Flynn was in attendance at the count to see the party’s candidate Mary Herdman come third with 279 votes. Michael Alexander of the Green Party was next with 61 votes, followed by Liberal Democrat Callum Robertson - who recently received his A-Level results - with 35 votes.

Callum said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the by-election and wish Nigel all the best in his new role.”

Turnout for the by-election was 27.29 per cent.

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye.  Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144424009

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye. Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144424009

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VIDEO: Conservatives win important Peterborough City Council by-election

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye.  Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144448009

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye. Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144448009

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye.  Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144537009

By-elections for Eye, Thorney and Newborough at Manor Farm community centre, Eye. Conservative victory for Nigel Simons EMN-170809-144537009