Labour Party opinion: 'Time to have a better Peterborough', writes councillor Shaz Nawaz

Labour group leader on Peterborough City Council, Shaz Nawaz, gives an opposing view in his latest column

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 5:00 pm

The critical question that every electorate asks itself at an election is simple: “Are we better off since the last election?”

Furthermore, and more importantly, people want to know if there is hope for improvement in the future. I believe both questions are important.

I was born in Peterborough, went to school here, run my business here and I raise my family here. I am invested in Peterborough emotionally, financially, socially and have “skin in the game” to achieve the greater good. I want my children to be proud when they say “I am from Peterborough”.

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Labour Party leader, Shaz Nawaz, asks 'are we better off since the last election?' in his latest column for the Peterborough Telegraph.

A single election won’t fix everything: however, Peterborough needs a strong vision and a clear strategy. I appreciate different people have different priorities and no matter what the council does, not everyone will be fully satisfied. But what I can promise is that a Labour-run administration will always focus on making things better for the majority.

I want to see a Peterborough where we invest in skills so that we have a highly qualified workforce. This will increase their earning potential and the earning potential of businesses that cater to the workforce’s needs.

We need to attract more inward investment. This means more opportunities for local business and people. Investment helps strengthen existing sectors and assists in creating new sectors that complement our ambitions.

I want Peterborough to be a place that enriches lives through cultural events. This means we must invest and support our cultural and creative sector, not cut their budgets like the Conservatives have done over the years.

I believe it is important we use shared ownership business models to strengthen the economy by using co-operatives. Everyone should share the benefits of growth, not just a few at the top.

Furthermore, this form of ownership motivates employees as they have a personal stake in each enterprise.

We need to focus on what is important to us as a city. We need to build out programmes which will address these needs. These include, but are not limited to:1. A local wellbeing economy.2. Community-owned infrastructure so that the people who live here proudly own and share the benefits of our collective efforts.3. Worker-owned digital technology industry, robotics, artificial intelligence as that is part of the future our city can and must capitalise on.4. Public-owned arts, leisure and cultural facilities so that the community reaps the many benefits.5. Community-led housing that is fit for purpose and caters for the needs of our city.These priorities will have a direct correlation to health and social care, arts, culture and leisure, housing, education, public services and creative sectors.

I know people are fed up with politicians making lots of promises which don’t stand the test of time. A Labour-run administration promises to put the people of Peterborough first. We will succeed because we will persist. We will do all we can to improve people’s lives so that, come this time next year, you can reliably answer the questions most people ask themselves at election time in a positive way. Together we can do better for Peterborough.