Peterborough elections 2024: The wards to watch as results are announced

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The election is bound to bring about a few surprises

This year’s local election results in Peterborough are bound to bring about a few surprises.

The vote on 2nd May comes as a general election looms over the country and after significant changes in local politics.

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Around a quarter of Peterborough City Council (PCC) councillors are no longer affiliated with the party they represented at the time of their last election, having resigned and either joined another party or become an independent.

Local elections will be held on 2nd MayLocal elections will be held on 2nd May
Local elections will be held on 2nd May

Of these, four are up for re-election this year: Gavin Elsey, Saqib Farooq and Chris Harper who left the Conservatives and joined Peterborough First and Kirsty Knight who left the Greens and is now an independent.

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Meanwhile, seven current councillors will step down from the council entirely – six Conservatives and one Labour councillor – at the elections. Two (Jackie Allen and Cllr Farooq) will run in a different ward than the one they currently represent.

Several ex-councillors will be vying for your vote, including Angus Ellis for Labour, John Peach for the Conservatives and Imtiaz Ali, Ed Murphy and June Bull for the Greens.

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There are also other factors which make this year’s local elections in Peterborough particularly interesting: the change of power PCC saw in November being among them.

Cllr Mohammed Farooq (Peterborough First, Hargate and Hempsted) became leader of the council, replacing Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald (Conservatives, West), who was ousted in a vote of no confidence in his leadership and administration, backed by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

The outcome of the vote in every ward will, then, be interesting for local politics watchers as together they’ll either mean the Conservatives are able to return to power, Labour will lead for the first time since the 1990s or a coalition of parties will take over.

Any outcome would mean a shift from the current status quo, even if leaders Peterborough First were to remain in power by forming an official coalition.

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But there are also local factors which will make the outcome of votes in particular wards particularly interesting. These are the wards to watch:

Orton Waterville

The candidates: Oluwaseun Akinyele (Labour Party), Jackie Allen (The Conservative Party Candidate), Kirsty Knight (Independent), Ed Murphy (Green Party)

The reason: Because current member Cllr Allen (Conservatives, East) is standing in Orton Waterville rather than the ward she represents, the outcome of this vote will mean at least one person in PCC’s current crop will no longer hold office come May. Cllr Knight, who recently left the Greens to stand as an independent, is the ward’s current representative. Meanwhile, Mr Murphy will be hoping to re-join the council, while Ms Akinyele will be hoping to be elected for the first time, having also stood in the ward last year.


The candidates: Sara Bristow (The Conservative Party Candidate), Ruta Dalton (The Conservative Party Candidate), John Fox (Peterborough First - Werrington Independent), Sarah Hillier (Peterborough First - Werrington Independent), Roz Jones (Labour Party), Simon Kail (Liberal Democrats), Katherine Sharp (Green Party), Barry Warne (Green Party)

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The reason: Two councillors will be elected in Werrington this year after Peterborough First councillor Stephen Lane stepped down mid-term for personal reasons last month. Werrington is also where his party effectively began – it was originally called Werrington First – with Mr Lane and current councillors John and Judy Fox among its original members. It’s now expanded to a group of 10 which leads the council and hopes to have a role in its leadership in future. Werrington is also where Sara Bristow is standing; she’s the wife of Peterborough’s Conservative MP Paul Bristow.


The candidates: Murtaza Ahmed (The Conservative Party Candidate), Iqra Ali (Green Party), Angus Ellis (Labour and Cooperative Party), Ian Hardman (Liberal Democrats), Sue Morris (Reform UK), Fiona Radic (Independent)

The reason: Currently, Park ward has two Conservative councillors – Muhammed Asif and Arfan Khan – who gained their seats from the Labour Party in 2023 in a dramatic double win. It also has one Labour councillor, Mohammed Sabir. The seat held by Cllr Asif – who will not be standing again this year – is up for re-election after just one year as it was left open following the resignation of former Labour leader Shaz Nawaz who only had a year left of his term when he stood down. Will the Conservatives hold onto the seat or will Labour take it back? Or will residents opt for an independent or a candidate representing another party entirely?

Hargate and Hempsted

The candidates: Saqib Farooq (Peterborough First Independent), Amanda Horne (Green Party), Kelly Jesus (Labour Party), Rachel Speed (Liberal Democrats), Vishal Vichare (The Conservative Party Candidate)

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The reason: While Werrington might be the birthplace of Peterborough First, Hargate and Hempsted is the ward of Cllr M. Farooq, who became leader of the council in November after resigning from the Conservatives and supporting a vote of no confidence in his former leader Cllr Fitzgerald. While his seat is not up for re-election this year, his son, Cllr S. Farooq, is running in Hargate and Hempsted, hoping to win the seat from the Conservatives, which currently hold it. Cllr S. Farooq, who is a councillor for Glinton and Castor, won’t be replacing another current councillor if he wins, though, as incumbent Nicolle Trust is stepping down. Of course, the Conservatives would like to keep the seat anyway, while the Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens have also all stood candidates in the ward.

Stanground South

The candidates: Chris Harper (Peterborough First Independent), Jo Johnson (Green Party), Neil Seekings (The Conservative Party Candidate), Margaret Thulbourn (Labour Party)

The reason: Chris Harper, leader of Peterborough First, is the only current council group leader up for re-election this year. He was last elected as a Conservative.

Paston and Walton

The candidates: Callum Alexander (Labour Party), Shokat Ali (Green Party), Alex Rafiq (The Conservative Party Candidate), Nick Sandford (Liberal Democrat Focus Team)

The reason: Nick Sandford is currently mayor of Peterborough. A new mayor will be elected on 20th May whether or not Cllr Sandford remains in his seat.

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