Elections 2024: Which smaller parties are standing in Peterborough's local elections and what do they believe?

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Three smaller parties are fielding candidates in Peterborough on 2nd May

Peterborough’s local elections are fast approaching.

Polls will open at 7am on Thursday, 2nd May. Meanwhile, postal votes are already arriving at the Town Hall.

Votes will be cast for candidates hoping to represent their ward on Peterborough City Council (PCC) as part of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green groups.

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Christopher Furlong, Peter Macdiarmid, OLI SCARFF via Getty ImagesChristopher Furlong, Peter Macdiarmid, OLI SCARFF via Getty Images
Christopher Furlong, Peter Macdiarmid, OLI SCARFF via Getty Images

Locally, the Peterborough First group is also standing candidates in eight wards and, on top of that, six independents are vying for your vote.

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Peterborough elections 2024: Which parties can win?

But, while not currently represented on the council, several other parties are standing candidates too. They are the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, Reform UK and the Workers Party.

While various smaller parties have stood for election in Peterborough over the years, many have never had a councillor elected, such as the Christian People’s Alliance, Legalise Cannabis party and the Natural Law Party – founded on the principles of transcendental meditation.

But several have, including UKIP, the Liberal Party and Werrington First (which has now been subsumed into Peterborough First).

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So who are the smaller parties vying for your vote this year and what do they believe?

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing candidates in three Peterborough wards: Central, Fletton and Woodston and North.

The party says each of its candidates across the country are a “working-class fighter prepared to stand up to the capitalist establishment politicians”.

It adds in its local election manifesto that it opposes both cuts to council services and raising council tax for working class people.

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Councils should instead “use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers” to fund their services, it says, and demand any shortfall is made up by central government.

Other promises include opposing the privatisation of council services, supporting building new council houses and supporting climate emergency plans which create new employment opportunities.

The party was established in 2010 with several trade unions on its steering committee.

The left-wing party suspended election activities while Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party, but has since resumed them under his replacement Keir Starmer.

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Reform UK

Reform UK has one candidate vying for election in Peterborough, in Park ward.

The party began as the Brexit Party, founded in 2018 with the support of Nigel Farage, and campaigned for a no-deal Brexit arrangement.

It then rebranded as Reform UK in early 2020, campaigning against Covid lockdowns, before focusing primarily on calling for a reduction in immigration.

While not specific to the upcoming local elections, its latest pledges are to reform the economy, reform the public sector, reform energy strategy and reform institutions (such as the civil service and the BBC) while opposing “all the woke nonsense” holding the country back.

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It says it’s against the government’s net zero targets, but in favour of net zero immigration: in practice, this would mean using the UK’s own coal, oil, natural gas, shale gas and lithium reserves for energy, while only allowing as many immigrants into the UK each year as there are people leaving.

It also wants to bring about sweeping tax reforms, which include lifting the minimum thresholds for Income Tax and Corporation Tax as well as scrapping Inheritance Tax for all estates under £2m.

There should also be no basic rate Income Tax for frontline staff in health and social care for three years, it says, to help “urgently solve the staffing crisis”.

Other pledges include abolishing: the House of Lords, HS2, interest on student loans, the BBC licence fee and the UK’s involvement in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Workers Party

The Workers Party is standing a candidate in Dogsthorpe.

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Founded in 2019, it’s led by George Galloway and has the stated mission of replacing the Labour Party.

It describes itself as socialist and says it will “defend the achievements of the USSR, China, Cuba etc”.

But it’s also been described as socially conservative and says it has “no support for identity politics or non-jobs for middle class graduates to support the NGO-industrial complex”.

It’s also pledged more spending on security, including for the army and police.

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While not specific to local elections, its manifesto addresses local councils, saying there should be a 6:1 pay level ratio between the lowest and highest paid staff member and that executives should be on five year rolling performance-related contracts.

It also says it supports increased tenant control of council housing as well as free pre-school childcare, free school lunches for all and cheap or free public transport, water and electricity.

The Workers Party supports overhauling taxation, increasing the minimum threshold for Income Tax and making pensions tax-free.

Other policies include supporting football clubs becoming fan-owned and declaring “war” on “ultra-processed foods”.

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It’s also called for referendums on the UK’s NATO membership, its net zero pledges and the continuation of its monarchy.

Of the 104 candidates standing in this year's local elections in Peterborough, just five belong to these parties, with larger numbers standing for the Conservatives (23), Labour (22), the Liberal Democrats (18) and the Greens (22).

Residents in the majority of wards won't have the option to vote for them.

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