Local Elections 23: Implementing our ideas and policies across the city

Kirsty Knight, Green Party councillor for Orton WatervilleKirsty Knight, Green Party councillor for Orton Waterville
Kirsty Knight, Green Party councillor for Orton Waterville
Peterborough’s Green councillors don’t only work for the residents who live in their wards. They also work hard at the town hall to implement green ideas and policies at a city-wide level, writes Green Party councillor Kirsty Knight..

Our Green group has achieved plenty this year via full council and at committee and budget meetings.

Nicola Day (Orton Waterville candidate) said: “Since helping the council to declare a “Climate Emergency” in July 2019 I have sat on the climate change working group and now chair the new climate change and environment scrutiny committee meetings. This has involved asking questions about such matters as energy action plans, flood management, biodiversity strategies and changes in how we deal with felling trees with tree protection orders on them.”

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Peterborough Council now has a growing climate change team who are focusing their efforts on bringing the council to net zero carbon by 2030

Green councillors have asked questions at full council about the felling of the Bretton oak tree. They have also pressed the council over sewage spills in local rivers.

Green candidate Imtiaz Ali, has a financial background and is very comfortable around numbers.

He sits on the financial sustainability working group. This is a cross party group that aims to ensure the council is financially sustainable. He says “We have been able as Greens to put our ideas forward, and managed to help negotiate a £2 million eco homes project that aims to build flagship energy efficient houses aimed at social housing and temporary accommodation.

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“We have also helped to negotiate a strengthening of the council tax hardship exemption scheme. Greater publicity is to be provided for the exceptional hardship fund, and staff administering the scheme will be advised to exercise greater discretion and flexibility when considering applications. This will help the people on the lowest incomes in our city."

Green candidate Heather Skibsted (Orton Longueville) said: “Since joining the Green Group in July 2022, I have chaired the new walking and cycling task and finish cross party group. This group was set up in September 2022 to examine the local cycling and walking infrastructure plan and decide on the priorities for cycle routes in the city.

“It was presented at the climate change scrutiny committee in February 2023 where the majority of recommendations were approved. One recommendation being implemented is a circular route for cyclists around the city centre, as well as improving connections for cyclists from south to north of the city. There are many roads unsuitable for cyclists in the city and this needs to change in line with targets for encouraging active travel as soon as funding becomes available.”

Heather has pressed the council over the closure of St Georges Hydrotherapy Pool and also closing of the Regional Pool and athletics track car park. She has also had a motion to the full council agreed linking the cost of living crisis to the climate crisis in terms of pushing for more insulation of homes to reduce energy bills.

The work of these candidates, and sitting Green councillor Kirsty Knight help to show that a vote for the Green party is a vote for capable and down to earth councillors.