“This year has been a positive one for UKIP” writes Jay Beecher Branch Secretary of UKIP Peterborough.
“Despite the most disproportionate General Election in history (the Electoral Reform Society claims that UKIP – which received 3.9 million votes- would have won up to 80 seats in Parliament under a fairer system) the debates which ensued did at least manage to re-engage the British public. The rousing coverage of the election also evidently encouraged the younger generation to get more involved in politics, which is always a good thing. Locally we saw the deposition of the Conservative Leader of the City Council; knocked off his perch by our own candidate, Cllr John Whitby. Let’s hope that the end of Cereste’s reign marks an end to the unjustifiable wasting of tax payer’s money on vanity projects such as the proposed solar panels, costing £3.1 million just to plan, and which (pardon the pun) never saw the light of day.
“Marco’s exit, and the increase of UKIP’s presence in the City to four Councillors was great news. The local elections in May of next year, I hope, will see this figure rise further still. It is evident that the Conservative-dominated Council is out of touch with the people of Peterborough. An injection of common sense provided by more UKIP Councillors could be just what it needs to update the administration and to help reconnect with the people.
“Slum landlords, anti-social behaviour, homelessness, and failing schools are issues which have all gotten out of control. A much harder stance needs to be taken to tackle them. It’s true – austerity has hit Britain hard. The Council’s budget has taken a severe beating of late, with further assaults yet to come. But if we use our heads, the little money that we have, if spent correctly, can go a long way. But sometimes I think that some of the people we elect to run this city fail miserably in justifying the trust we place in them; constantly squandering away funds as though they were playing with the multi-coloured notes of a Monopoly set. Taking a gamble is fine if you are using your own money. But to risk the money of the tax payer and to waste it on half-baked ideas is gravely irresponsible. A fine example of this was the closure of Bretton Woods Community School in my own ward. The tearing down of this perfectly functioning school – a school which I myself attended – was done so on the orders of the City Council – the same Conservative Council which now has woken up to realise that the academy which replaced it is failing and that (ironically) the voice of the dramatically growing public will in the very near future cry out for the building of more schools.
“Last month I attended the Referendum Debate at the Key Theatre. It was great to see people from both sides of the spectrum debate the impact that EU membership has on both the country and our City. It was greater still to see the majority of the local audience vote ‘Out’. What we’ve been missing for a while in this country and in this city, is the pride we once had; our pride for our communities, our pride for being British. And this is partly the fault of our subservience to the EU. Some staunch advocates of the ‘In’ party will try to convince us that leaving Europe will destroy our economy. But their argument falls flat at the first hurdle. The EU is not Europe. The EU (which costs us £55 million per day to be a member of) fiercely opposes national identity, and any organisation that opposes national identity should never be allowed to rule over nations. I honestly think that the people of England are beginning to wake up. We are once again rediscovering the greatness of our country, of the necessity to take pride in the place we call home, and to celebrate a sense of belonging, of identity, and of being part of something greater. The restoration of national pride and the future prosperity of Peterborough go hand in hand. And the inevitable break from the oppressive EU will, I’m certain, bring about the assurance of both.”