Peterborough’s newest Labour councillor has pledged that the party will produce an alternative budget to the ruling Conservatives.
Accountant Shaz Nawaz, who secured nearly 50 per cent of the vote in yesterday’s Park ward by-election, wants to use his numerical skills to make sure Labour produces a budget that “works for the city of Peterborough.”
The Tories, who currently hold 29 of the 59 seats on the city council, with another by-election to come, produce a budget every year with details released in two phases.
However, the council has had to save millions of pounds every year due to big government cuts to its funding.
Speaking after his election victory, Mr Nawaz, the owner of AA Chartered Accountants, said: “Being an accountant finance is my strength. I will be making sure we will set a budget that works for the city of Peterborough.
“I’m also going to be fighting hard to make sure that Park ward gets its fair share of funding.
“The biggest issue we face is fly-tipping. I also manage speed watch in Park ward and I want to find a solution. It’s a big concern for the residents.”
The by-election was called after Labour’s John Shearman stepped down due to personal reasons.
And following his win by nearly 350 votes over his nearest challenger Arfan Khan, the Conservative candidate, Mr Nawaz paid tribute to Mr Shearman who was previously his headteacher when he attended Beeches School as a child.
Mr Nawaz said: “He has inspired me, motivated me, mentored me and pointed me in the right direction since he was my headteacher at primary school.
“Richard and I will continue the hard work of John to best support residents of Park ward.”
Mr Nawaz was the agent for MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya at June’s General Election.
UKIP candidate Graham Whitehead, who came third in the vote, said: “It was a disappointing night for us. The trend from the General Election continued and voters chose to select candidates from the two main parties, squeezing the votes of the others.
“However, I was pleased to have moved into third spot and polled above five per cent, which is higher than UKIP is polling nationally.
“I believe the ideas I set out in Park ward are the right ones for Peterborough and as a party we will continue to put forward common sense, hard-hitting policies and will not shy away from the fight.
“Finally, I’d like to thank those who voted for me and to congratulate Cllr Nawaz on his victory, commiserate with the other candidates and thank the election officials and police for their professionalism.”
Mr Whitehead added that he would support a revision of the way postal votes are allocated and processed.