Conservative group opinion: We should focus on local successes, says Wayne Fitzgerald

With just a week to go before the polls open, I thought I would take some time to reflect upon some of the recent successes that have been achieved for the city by the Conservative administration.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 4:00 pm
The Government Hub development at Fletton Quays

Let’s start with housing numbers as we have built them in record numbers in the last financial year with 1247 much needed new homes now available for residents including 958 which are affordable and in overall terms is 32% up on our local plan target. Unemployment in Peterborough has also fallen 20% over the period of the pandemic with more jobs and business opportunities on offer for all thanks to the city’s booming economy. We continue to attract government investment for projects such as the new DEFRA hub and the relocation of the new passport office both going onto Fletton Quays creating even more new jobs for residents. There is a lot of continued interest from both the private and public sectors wanting to invest in Peterborough. In levelling up terms we have been awarded £20million to invest in our new University which will stop talented young people leaving our city to study elsewhere, it’ll upskill our residents and give our employers a better crop of people applying for jobs. And there’s a further £25million ear marked to spend through the successful Towns Fund bid on a variety of projects across Peterborough.

We are also doing our bit to tackle climate change with several smart tech initiatives all helping to get the council to net carbon zero by 2030. At the same time, we’re helping hard pressed families to reduce their energy costs via our Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP).

To further reduce our carbon footprint more trees are being planted right across the city particularly to mark the Queen’s Jubilee this year. And we are making our own vehicles as green as we can through the use of alternative fuels on our refuse fleet and where available we are switching to electric vehicles.

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We are determined to tackle littering and fly tipping too with tougher penalties and serious fines for those we catch doing it. We are spending more on essential road and footpath repairs as we know this is important to residents no matter where they live. We are also working with the police to tackle anti-social behaviour and reduce drug usage and prostitution particularly in the city centre.

It is also true to say that one of the most important things we have now got to grips with is the financial challenge facing the council. We all, including the council, must learn to live within our means as most families know only too well. This has not been an easy task, and I said at the outset some months ago now “difficult decisions need to be taken” which inevitably some people will not agree with. We are not bankrupt either nor on the edge of it as financially we are on the road to sustainability.

The opposition parties will of course try to make out that they would do something different without actually telling you what they would or how they would balance the books, or that they will undo things if elected.

This is just fantasy, and they will literally say anything to get your vote. If they did try to reverse budget savings, it will certainly lead to government intervention who will take over the running of the council. It’s no secret either that the left-wing Labour Party intend to, if they get enough seats on May 5, form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and the Greens alongside others. If this were to happen it would mean chaos for the city council.

I truly believe there has been 22 years of solid growth and prosperity across the city with the Conservatives which is plain for all to see if you look around and see how much we have grown. I also believe together with your support we can continue this good work and make Peterborough an even better place to live for all.

I also want to give credit where it is due to my council colleagues. There are a lot of hard-working Conservatives currently serving on the council and a good bunch of new candidates too waiting in the wings. We are a party for all no matter what colour, religion or race you are. We also have some of the youngest people in our ranks as well as those from differing ethnic minorities and those living with a disability - we are truly a party representative of all communities across Peterborough.

Finally, I would urge all residents to carefully consider the local issues and your local council services. Ignore the woes of Westminster and the many distracting national issues and focus on the successes of the city and who has made them happen. And of course, I would say, as you might expect, do vote for your local Conservative councillors and candidates where you live.