LOCAL ELECTIONS: Labour leader believes ‘vaccine bounce’ boosted Conservatives in Peterborough

Labour’s leader at Peterborough City Council believes a “vaccine bounce” helped boost the Conservatives at the local elections.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 6:42 pm

Cllr Shaz Nawaz said the party’s performance was “average at best” after Labour failed to gain any councillors, unlike the Tories who earned another seat.

And while the Conservatives remain two seats short of a majority, the party is likely to remain in power with the support of the three Werrington First councillors, dashing the hopes of the opposition parties who had hoped to form a coalition.

Cllr Nawaz, who held onto his Park ward seat, said: “(The results was) average at best if I’m being very frank. I thought we would do better. There were a couple of seats we missed out on which was disappointing.

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Labour leader Shaz Nawaz wins Park ward EMN-210705-175309009

“Dogsthorpe I thought we would gain, East we would gain, and both in Fletton and Woodston and we only got one.

“I think it’s a bit of a national trend with the vaccine bounce. That helped the Conservatives up and down the country.

“We still have 17 councillors. Next year there will be an opportunity - this year did not work out for us. It’s not based on local politics but national politics.

“We’ll just have to keep trying and hopefully have a better conversation next year.”

Green Party councillors in Orton Waterville: Julie Howell, Kirsty Knight and Nicola Day

One group leader who was a lot happier was the Green Party’s Julie Howell after completing a clean sweep of Orton Waterville with a third victory in the ward in as many elections.

The Greens had never previously won a city council seat, but now hold three.

“We’re absolutely delighted. The Green Party has just taken our first ward completely Green,” Cllr Howell said.

“We’re delighted for our residents because they got what they wanted - hard-working councillors.

“We’re delighted for the Green Party, delighted for Peterborough, and really pleased our hard work has paid off.

“What residents want from local politicians is changing. They want to see hard work, they want to know their vote isn’t wasted, so it’s really important for politicians to be visible, and not just in the Town Hall but in our communities.

“That’s a lesson we can take from this result.”