Green Party leader Natalie Bennett hopes for electoral success in Peterborough and praises 'wonderful' Green Backyard

The leader of the Green Party has paid a visit to Peterborough on election day.

Thursday, 5th May 2016, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2016, 1:32 pm
Natalie Bennett with Green Party candidates and supporters in Werrington

Natalie Bennett stopped off in Werrington to speak to her party’s local candidates and supporters as the Greens seek their first ever seat on Peterborough City Council.

Today (Thursday, May 5) all 60 seats on the council are up for grabs with the results to be declared in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Asked why people in Peterborough should vote for her party before polling stations shut at 10pm tonight, Ms Bennett compared electing a Green councillor to a “broom sweeping through often dusty quarters, scrutinising and asking tough questions” on important issues such as housing and public transport.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She said: “Things can get stuck in a two-party struggle and a Green councillor can say what is the common sense solution.

“The Green Party has proposed ideas like 20mph speed limits. A decade ago we were proposing it and people were scoffing. We propose ideas, people scoff, then 10 years later they become their ideas.

“But we need to elect Greens now.”

With Peterborough aspiring to be the environment capital of the UK, Ms Bennett said long-term solutions are needed. One area she highlighted was tackling fuel poverty which would also tackle environmental issues and winter deaths.

The Green Party leader also spoke fondly of the “wonderful” Green Backyard, the community growing project in Oundle Road.

She added: “The Green Backyard I’m very passionate about. I’ve been in regular contact with them and I was hugely impressed when I visited two years ago.

“I was horrified it could be under threat.”

Ms Bennett’s visit comes a week after Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Perkins Engines site and two months after UKIP leader Nigel Farage spoke at the KingsGate Conference Centre, although both were in Peterborough to discuss the forthcoming European Union referendum.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, has also visited Peterborough recently with the city seen as a key indicator for how the political parties are faring nationally.

A significant media interest, both national and local, is expected at the East of England Showground tonight and into the early hours of Friday morning as the results are announced.