Reducing the drama at Peterborough City Council

Cllr Shaz Nawaz during this week's Full Council meeting
Cllr Shaz Nawaz during this week's Full Council meeting
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On Thursday we had yet another election, this time for the European Parliament. I urged everyone to go out and vote; I also recommended that everyone voted Labour, writes leader of the Labour group on Peterborough City Council Cllr Shaz Nawaz.

Our current Labour MEP for the East of England, Alex Mayer, is a trusted colleague. She takes a keen interest in the issues facing our city and has done her best to address them during her time in office. At this point in time, we simply don’t know how long we will remain in the European Union; it is a topsy-turvy world. As a result, it’s important to have the most effective representation possible for as long as it is required.

In two weeks we will have the Peterborough by-election. This follows on from the local election we had earlier this month. A non-Peterborian said to a colleague of mine recently, “You poor people, how many elections must you endure?”

Politics is a chosen profession; I understand that most people select not to become part of the process and wouldn’t do so even if it was offered to them. They will vote, but they want to carry on with life as best they can without the interference of politicians. I suspect this appetite has been particularly sharpened in our city because there have been so much politics happening lately.

Most people want their services to be run well, they want the police to come when called, they want their schools to educate their children, they want the roads to be swiftly repaired. Whenever I go knocking on doors, this appetite for quiet efficiency is expressed in a variety of different ways and in ever more strident terms. The words “just get on with it” are both a plea and a cry of distress.

It is the Labour Group’s firm intention to reduce the drama and theatre associated with local government. Those of you who have tuned in via Facebook or followed the council proceedings via the pages of this newspaper are probably altogether too well acquainted with how fractious these meetings can be. There are clashes, insults fly: when these occur, in the back of my mind I wonder who is watching, who is turned off by this, and what will they think of local democracy as a result.

I suspect that having a “living dead” Conservative Administration for the next year will not help matters.

The temptation for any regime on its last legs is to rage against the dying of the light; I have little doubt the typical histrionics will reach new extremes. However, I reassure everyone that help is on the way.

Once this administration’s last gasp has been exhaled, there will be a new tone and atmosphere as well as innovative policies.

We will create an administration that just gets on with it: delivers the services the people of this city need, require and indeed have paid for.