I would like to begin this column by expressing my gratitude to the voters of Peterborough: thanks to you, we have new and exceptional Labour councillors in Ravensthorpe, Dogsthorpe, Orton Longueville, East and Park, writes cllr Shaz Nawaz, leader of the Labour group on Peterborough City Council.
You also returned our sitting councillors in North and Central with emphatic margins. Obviously, I would have preferred that we held onto Bretton and Gunthorpe, but the Labour Group is going to learn the lessons of these losses and do better in the future; I’d like to thank the exceptional Stuart Martin and Julia Davidson for all their hard work.
There is no way to spin the election results as a success for the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats made advances. The Greens took another seat. Officially, the Council is now under no overall control. It is now up to the Werrington First group to decide if they want to keep supporting the Conservatives. If they do, I suggest the Administration will live on borrowed time.
The results from this last election should tell them something: the sands of the hourglass are dwindling. Rather than thrive, the Conservative Administration will stagger on like a zombie towards a bleak horizon: lacking ideas or ambition, just plodding on towards an unknown goal.
Things pass. The certainties of a previous age fade and disappear. What may have been apropos or popular at one time can overstay its welcome.
The results from this election should tell us all that the people of Peterborough want something new, better, and different. It will just take longer than one election cycle to get there.
I am proud of our new Labour Group: we have elected more women and people from diverse professions. This includes the self-employed, a medical doctor, a young professional, a language teacher. They come from a broad variety of backgrounds.
The new Labour Group looks more like Peterborough as it is: I suggest that the Conservatives resembles Peterborough as it was. As I say, things pass: being in power for too long has almost been a curse for the Conservatives because they get caught up in certainties which used to work but no longer do.
As the distance between their Administration and the thriving city of Peterborough grows, the future will continue to slip away from them.
It is with this in mind that the Labour Group will take a deep breath, regroup and prepare for that future. We will continue to develop our policy ideas for the day when the last grain of sand drops in the hourglass and the Conservatives are swept aside.
We will continue to work with people and groups of goodwill throughout the city so that when the time comes,we will be ready to deploy the policies that Peterborough desperately needs.
We will also continue to hold the current Administration to account and remind them that their remaining days, they ought to at least try to do right by the city, rather than carry on as they have been.