Opinion: The city is my number one priority

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There are only two things guaranteed after a long hard campaign on polling day, victory and defeat, writes Peterborough MP Paul Bristow.

Thursday the 2nd of May was no different and whilst being humble in victory in previous years it’s important to be humble in defeat.

I was sad to lose some of my Conservative colleagues on the council in my patch, especially given the extremely close margins.

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Two votes made the difference in Park ward, six in Dogsthorpe and nine in Eye, Thorney and Newborough.

Lynne Ayres, one of the few Conservative winners at last week's countLynne Ayres, one of the few Conservative winners at last week's count
Lynne Ayres, one of the few Conservative winners at last week's count

I was delighted to see Cllr. Alex Rafiq gain the Paston and Walton seat, again this was decided by 5 votes.

If anyone needed motivation to go out and vote at elections this is it. All of these seats decided by a handful of voters, your votes really do matter and can influence how our city is ran.

With about 150 votes casted differently, there would have been many more Conservative councillors.

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On this topic, this years local elections had a very low turnout. It is important for councillors and politicians at Westminster to reflect on this and understand why so many people decided to stay at home.

In my constituency, the popular vote was still won by the Conservatives. Although we lost councillors on the night we still gained the most votes of any party. Had last Thursday been a General Election, I would remain our Member of Parliament. This gives me hope that I am doing the right things for our city.

Make no mistake about it, it is either me or a Labour man from Milton Keynes at the next General Election.

I care about Peterborough, it’s the city I grew up in and I have a strong track record when it comes to securing funding for various projects.

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Being local really does matter, it means you can understand what issues are important to people in Peterborough. I won’t just rely on my track record. I am making three central promises to Peterborough which I will prioritise securing extra cash for.

Firstly, a new swimming pool. The situation with the Regional Pool is a disaster, Peterborough needs and deserves a swimming pool and I will deliver this.

Our bus station is in need of a face lift, this can’t be denied and is another priority of mine.

I will secure the funds Peterborough needs for a brand new state of the art bus station, which will run coincide with our brand new train station.

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Lastly, I want to work with Posh to bring a new stadium to our city. This will not only benefit us in terms of football but bring national acts and concerts to our city.

These projects will run alongside all of my work on local issues like Werrington Fields, Cuckoos Hollow bridges, NHS dentists and 72 new City Hospital beds and much more.

Peterborough is and always will be my number one priority. I proved this when I was sacked as a Parliamentary Private Secretary after wanting peace in Gaza. I will always put my constituents first, even if this puts me in a difficult position in Westminster.