Politics is important to women too

Our earlier columns about the menace of fly tipping certainly got people talking. While everyone seems to agree that something needs to be done about fly tipped waste in our communities when it comes to solutions opinion is divided, writes Julie Howell, Peterborough Green Party Coordinator.

Saturday, 15th April 2017, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:28 pm
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/opinion, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

We in Peterborough Green Party believe that given the opportunity and incentive to do the right thing people will dispose of their unwanted possessions responsibly. This is why we are not in favour of the city council’s £23.50 collection charge for larger items.

People who find it difficult to get to the recycling centre because they are elderly, have a disability or don’t have access to a car and who simply cannot afford the £23.50 charge, are most vulnerable to door-to- door rogue traders who will offer to take items away for less than the amount that the council charges.

Unfortunately, some of these traders aren’t true to their word and fly tip what they collect, often in areas where there is no CCTV as they believe they will get away with it.

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Farmland is a popular spot with fly tippers, as is woodland. The most brazen will even dump it on residential streets. If you use a rogue trader who fly tips your possessions and the rubbish can be traced back to you then you could be in for a hefty fine. Meanwhile, the rogue trader may have done a moonlight flit to evade prosecution.

Clearly, the situation isn’t fair to people who don’t have cars.

Here’s some good news: Orton Waterville Parish Council is arranging for a FREE bulky item collection service on Saturday, April 29, between 11am and 2pm in the Orton Centre carpark in Orton Goldhay.

If the service is successful the scheme will be rolled out across the parish more frequently. If it is successful in Orton perhaps it could be successful in your area too.

Readers may have noticed that I’m standing for election as Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on May 4. You may also have noticed that of the seven candidates I am the only woman.

While I’m very used to being the only woman in the room (having spent a career in IT) it makes me sad that more women don’t put themselves forward for key political positions. When I was a child, my mother always took me to the polling station with her when she would go to vote. I believe that by establishing this routine early in my life, my mum instilled in me the belief that politics is important for women as well as men.

I encourage mums and dads who cast their vote on May 4 to take your young daughters to the polling station with you.

Help them to understand why voting matters and encourage them to believe that they can have a voice in public life.

Women are still under-represented in local democracy.

Let’s encourage our daughters to believe that politics isn’t just for men 
and that women also have a right to make our voices heard.