Local Elections 2023: Staying in touch with residents

Peterborough Green Party are setting their sights high for May’s local elections, and are running their biggest ever election campaign, writes ​by Cllr Kirsty Knight, Green Party.
Kirsty Knight, Green Party councillor for Orton WatervilleKirsty Knight, Green Party councillor for Orton Waterville
Kirsty Knight, Green Party councillor for Orton Waterville

Residents know that once a Green is elected they work hard in their wards and keep in touch with residents all year round.

The Greens are running strong campaigns in Orton Waterville, Orton Longueville, plus Fletton and Woodston. As the local party continues to grow, we are developing campaigning activities in other wards across the city.

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Cllr Nicola Day is standing for re-election in Orton Waterville ward where her and fellow Green Cllr Kirsty Knight run regular”Meet On Your Street” sessions in which they listen to residents’ issues and concerns and act upon them. They have also recently held a “Local Community Assembly” which invited residents to come together across the ward to help them set local area priorities as councillors.

As local councillors they regularly report and deal with instances of fly-tipping. They have helped increase footfall at Orton Library along with overseeing the establishment of Cross Keys services at the Library. Cllrs Knight and Day live up to their names by working long hours. They have helped residents get their bulky waste to the Ortongate Collection point and have communicated with AEPG regarding the development of the Showground.

Cllr Heather Skibsted is standing for re-election in Orton Longueville. She has been busy with environmental issues, such as rejuvenating areas to become community flower beds.

Cllr Skibstead has liaised on regular litter picking with “Pride in the Ortons”, as well as setting up the community café and fresh food hub at the Goldhay Community Centre. This has now become an established weekly event.

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As a trustee for Family Voice Peterborough she also regularly volunteers at the Goldhay Community Centre, helping to ensure it is a successful hub which serves and involves local residents.

As a parish councillor for the area she is involved in community issues, particularly with regard to green spaces and wildlife. It would be fair to say she is immersed in the local community.

In Woodston and Fletton, Cllr Imtiaz Ali has enjoyed a busy two years as a Cllr. In that time he has had the opportunity to meet with many residents and help on a number of issues. He has dealt with residents’ issues regarding housing, and with social tenants whose rents had gone up unexpectedly. Imtiaz has been successful in resolving a number of fly tipping issues. One involved asbestos and could have proved dangerous to residents’ health. Right now he is working with a number of students at the Nene Park Academy regarding the installation of lighting on an overgrown, unlit footpath. He is vice-chair of the council Audit committee, where he challenges expenditure and tries to ensure residents receive value for their money..

One big advantage which Green councillors have is that they are not whipped. This leaves individual councillors able to vote freely on issues, and means they can usually act on the wishes of the ward which they represent.