Opinion: ‘I will be batting for Peterborough’

Wayne Fitzgerald, Conservative Group leader on Peterborough City Council writes...

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 5:05 am
Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald during a visit to the university site at Bishop's Road.

My, what a couple of weeks it’s been. Two weeks ago city residents went to the polls in their thousands and cast their votes, and they certainly gave opposition parties in the city something to think about.

The outcome of this year’s local elections is by any stretch a clear indication that most people living here are happy with the way the city is being run by the current Conservative administration. By now Labour and the Liberal Democrats must be wondering what hit them as we knocked them for six in cricket terms.

Listening to them before election day, they were expecting to grab the keys to the town hall and run the city as the coalition of chaos. The public knew full well if they were to let this happen it would have been a disaster for all concerned which is why we, the Conservatives, made so many gains overall and ended, in fact, one seat up from the previous election, giving us 29 seats overall in the council chamber.

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I truly love fighting elections and even better winning, although it is hard work and physically gruelling - just ask my chiropodist. It’s a time though when we can get on the doorstep and talk to local people face to face to win their support and convince them to endorse our plans and policies for the city. This year residents clearly understood what was at stake and what was on offer and they rejected the flawed thinking, left-wing ideology and the pie in the sky ideas of both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats here in Peterborough The same could be said for the rest of the UK, who pretty much voted Conservative in their droves and I can only hope that this trend continues 
locally here in Peterborough and for many years to come.

In the recent mayoral elections, I was disappointed to lose Mayor James Palmer who has been such a good friend to Peterborough over the past four years as Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. From the very beginning he worked hand in hand with the Conservative team here in Peterborough to develop and grow the city. His efforts in the development of the new university now being built in the city won’t be forgotten either.

Looking ahead though, we do wish the new mayor, Dr Nik Johnson, the very best of luck. I and others here in Peterborough and across Cambridge-shire look forward to working with him as we push for more investment in our respective areas.

I will be batting for Peterborough, so we create more growth opportunities for 
everyone including job creation, health improvements and new homes for people to live in - truly benefitting all those people living here in Peterborough.

There was also good news for our Conservative candidate Darryl Preston, who was elected Cambridgeshire’s new Police and Crime Commis-
sioner. Amongst several initiatives, Darryl has pledged to help tackle the blight of fly-tipping, and we shall be working with him to develop new plans and strategies to get on top of this issue. He also 
hopes to plough some of the cash from crime into helping clean up our city, with a focus on rural fly-tipping hotspots.

Finally, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Gillian Beasley, the chief executive at Peterborough City Council, and the whole of the elections team and all their support staff for the planning and execution of these elections. It was done calmly, diligently and professionally at every stage - not an easy thing to organise particularly during this pandemic and whilst keeping everyone safe and Covid secure. It is always tough to organise an election, and tiring, but this time around more so and all involved deserve a big pat on the back – well done.

As the dust has now settled, I have been busily organising the team for their refreshed and in some cases new roles within the Conservative group on the council. Next week I look forward to sharing our plans and ideas for the city as we move forward into a new year at Peterborough City Council.