Local elections: Conservatives and Labour have their ‘last word’ on polling day

With voting taking place for 23 Peterborough city councillors, Today (May 6) is a hugely significant day with tens of thousands of people expected to vote either in person or through postal or proxy voting. The Peterborough Telegraph invited the leaders of the four main council groups to submit their ‘Final Word’ as to why you should vote for their candidates...

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 6:45 am
Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm.
Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm.

In part one the Conservatives and Labour have their say, the Lib Dems and the Greens feature in part two.

Wayne Fitzgerald 
(Conservative Party)

Vote Conservative to Clean Up Our City

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A Conservative council will relaunch a Free Bulky Waste Collection Service and look at establishing roving waste teams with the mission of collecting fly-tipped items on public land, whether reported or not. Doing this will eliminate the time delay caused by the inevitable wait from being reported to being collected - this delay often sees an accumulation of items.

A further initiative will look at putting in place an approved “White Van Man” scheme to offer an alternative quicker collection service for householders. This initiative could reach out to property owners in the city, and landowners in rural areas where the blight of tipping so badly impacts farmland and drainage dykes.

With MP Paul Bristow on side, and ‘out of the box’ thinking now being proposed by the Conservatives, these measures will deliver real change!

- Vote Conservative to maintain Growth and Prosperity

A Conservative council will be committed to maintaining continued inward investment; bringing new jobs to the city with the university helping ensure the full potential of a better educated and upskilled workforce. The implementation of the £25m “Towns Fund” investment will enhance our city centre together with providing improved recreation and cultural facilities.

- Vote Conservative for a commitment to improve health and wellbeing

A fully refreshed sports strategy will aim to address the lifestyle choices of residents encouraging more people to adopt active participation in sport and exercise – this backed by the investment in a new £37m city centre leisure centre and swimming pool, and more, with a further location currently being proposed for the north of the city.

Conservatives are committed to ensure our city is a great place for those enjoying their third age – better parks, open spaces and recreation opportunities, whilst the elderly and vulnerable will not be forgotten with more investment in adult social care and mental health services.

- Vote Conservative to Build Back Better after the challenges of Covid. Conservatives are committed to become a carbon neutral city by 2030 – this will mean less pollution, improved bus and rail links, investment in electric vehicles for waste and recycling collections and improvements to our cycling access from the villages and townships, with upgrades and extensions to the Green Wheel.

- Vote Conservative for a strong, experienced administration with renewed commitment and ideas

A refreshed Conservative administration would see new faces joining the council bringing new ideas and energies supplementing established and experienced members. This combination will provide the city with the leadership it needs to take Peterborough forward with the challenges the city will face as we look to post Covid renewal and revitalisation.

A strong Conservative administration will be a coalition of like-minded councillors – miles away from the potential chaos of three parties with their cobbled together loose coalition of convenience simply intended to seize power!

A Conservative vote on May 6 will ensure a strong decisive council, getting the job done for residents all year round.

Shaz Nawaz

(Labour Party)

Since the Conservatives took control of the council over 20 years ago, Peterborough has plummeted to the bottom of the education league tables.

It also features regularly in being the worst place to live in the UK. 

Is there a link? 

Could it be that this once proud city has been allowed to decay and not kept pace with the innovations taking place in the rest of the UK just like it has done for educational attainment?

Could it be that the administration regards the city as a sleepy market town whilst they are lacking an ambitious vision to transform the city?

Think of the record levels of homelessness, lack of truly affordable housing, fly-tipping, big companies such as Next and the Queensgate flagship store, John Lewis, deserting the city centre.

Think of the poorly paid, insecure, jobs, that low paid workers have suffered higher rates of Covid as they must go to work instead of self-isolating as the jobs they do mean they cannot work from home.

Think of the growth in HMOs that has resulted from people selling their council homes for little more than they bought them for because they didn’t have the means to invest in them. This led to landlords buying and renting them, room by room, to people who cannot afford anything more suitable.

Then think of how long it has taken Peterborough to finally become a university city whilst our schools continue to languish at the bottom of league tables.

Is it any wonder we don’t rate highly on anyone’s list of places to live, work, grow, invest in or just be proud of?

The alternative? Stop wishing we are a sleepy market town that just happens to be home to a beautiful cathedral, making us a city. Instead, Labour will:

- Build council-owned homes that are truly affordable.

- Regain our place as a leading digital city - a lead we should never have surrendered having been one of the first out of the blocks.

- Create wealth in and for our city by encouraging external investors to believe in our city, as we do, to benefit local businesses and people.

- As ‘green’ living and technology becomes increasingly important, make the university a major centre for ‘green’ and digital technologies whilst building ‘agritech’ sector to capitalise on our position in the Fens, the major source of food production in the UK along with the higher paid jobs and skills they will bring.

- We will revitalise our cultural and arts facilities for the benefit of the city. We will lead a bid to become the UK City of Culture. We will not talk about it; we will do it.

- We will stop the tactic of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. 

This will be a strategy to create: ‘Destination Peterborough’ that recognises our heritage, restores belief and pride in Peterborough. And reinforces our aim to be the best place to be born, grow, move to and live in for miles around.