BREAKING: Conservatives take control of Peterborough City Council as Greens win first ever seat

The Conservatives took control of Peterborough City Council as the Green Party won their first ever seat on the authority.

Friday, 4th May 2018, 2:39 am
Updated Friday, 4th May 2018, 3:17 am
Conservatives celebrate

In a night of high drama the Tories, which before the election had half of the seats on the council, increased their number of councillors from 30 to 31 despite defeats for former council leader John Peach and cabinet member Gavin Elsey.

Mr Peach, who was also the Mayor of Peterborough, lost his seat in Park to Labour's Aasiyah Joseph.

He said: "It's been a great experience and an honour to represent Park ward where I live."

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Conservatives celebrate

The result was disappointing for Labour who lost one seat, falling to 14 out of 60. Council group leader Ed Murphy narrowly held onto his seat in Ravensthorpe, but he felt the party had not targeted seats well enough.

"I'm disappointed not to have made some gains in Peterborough," he said. "We need to make the council now listen about policy and do things to tackle the housing emergency in Peterborough, the need for school places, and we will be challenging mistakes on pet projects."

Peterborough Green Party co-ordinator Julie Howell, a parish councillor in the Ortons and former Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough candidate, took Orton Waterville for the party in a historic first by unseating Mr Elsey, the cabinet member for waste and street scene.

She said: "People used to laugh at us, but they are not laughing now."

UKIP lost one of their two councillors (John Okonkowski in Orton Longueville), while the Liberal Party went down from three councillors to two after Labour's Dennis Jones won Dogsthorpe in the first result of the night.

The Liberal Democrats also enjoyed a good night, increasing their number of councillors from five to six.

The 18 results came in thick and fast at the KingsGate Conference Centre in Parnwell, with sitting city MPs Fiona Onasanya and Shailesh Vara, former MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson, and Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer, all watching on.

Former council leader Marco Cereste (Conservative) increased his majority in Hampton Vale, but Jo Johnson (Labour) lost in Bretton having moved over from East.

Former Mayor of Peterborough Mohammad Choudhary, who was previously jailed for vote rigging, came second in Central behind the re-elected Mahboob Hussain.

Other changes saw Christian Hogg (Liberal Democrat) win Fletton and Stanground from Labour and Shazia Bashir (Conservative) take North from Labour.