Local elections: Lib Dems and Greens 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.

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

- Nick Sandford 
(Liberal Democrats)

Liberal Democrats want to create a fair, safe and sustainable Peterborough in which everyone is equally empowered to fulfil their ambitions and live a healthy life, regardless of their age, gender or background, and can fulfil their potential and get on in life.

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Sadly, under the Conservatives, our council is over-centralised and secretive. We are failing to act to address the climate emergency, our services are being cut while anti-social behaviour is increasing, and the lack of affordable housing has become a major issue. Our council needs to be transformed by fresh ideas.

With the Conservatives set to lose council seats across the city it looks increasingly likely that no one party will have majority control of the council after today’s elections. Politicians from all political parties will need to work together to protect and improve the services which many local residents rely on.

Our commitment to the residents of Peterborough is that a council run by the Lib Dems will work to improve the lives of all residents by listening to you and working hard all year round.

We have set out our priorities in our local election manifesto which can be found at www.peterboroughlibdems.org.uk/manifesto. Here are some of the key headlines:

- Take action to address the climate emergency: promote low carbon energy generation and insulate our homes to make them cheaper to run and more energy efficient

- Give residents a greater say on what happens in their area: reform the secretive, cabinet decision-making process in the Town Hall, replacing it with a more open and transparent committee system

- Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour: increase Prevention and Enforcement Team patrols outside of the city centre and address illegal parking and fly-tipping in our communities. Ban grass verge and pavement parking in communities where there is support for it. Consult on introducing a city wide 20mph speed limit in residential areas.

- Build affordable housing, maintain roads and improve our public transport: ensure the council meets its target of 30 per cent of new homes being “affordable” and increase investment in the bus network; invest in maintenance of roads and pavements and create new routes to enable people to cycle safely.

- Tackle social exclusion and improve the care and health of our residents: work to make Peterborough an age-friendly city and improve support for carers

- Improve education for all: end the regime of teachers being forced to ‘teach to the test’ by scrapping SATs at key stage 1 and key stage 2. Phase out selective admissions policies in schools based on faith so that all children can attend their local school if they so wish.

- Promote sustainable economic development: encourage the creation of jobs in the green economy and look to adapt the city’s infrastructure to new ways of working for the 21st century.

This year, Liberal Democrats have candidates in every council ward in the city. To bring about the change that our city needs after 20 years of Tory misrule, please vote Liberal Democrat today.

- Julie Howell 
(Green Party)

What will the Green Party do for Peterborough?

We will ensure Peterborough residents have a say in how Peterborough develops, democratising the planning process and ensuring public consultations are taken seriously.

We will prioritise the development of sustainable green jobs which will see the city become a hub for innovation (via the new university) and a manufacturing base for net zero carbon technologies. This will be accompanied by a Green Skills Centre at the Peterborough Regional College which will provide apprenticeship programmes for local people to develop skills in retrofitting homes to make them more energy-efficient and more affordable to heat.

We are already working with Peterborough City Council and the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Combined Authority to achieve this, with an ambition for Peterborough to become a leading research, innovation, skills and manufacturing hub for net-zero carbon technologies.

We do not support educational league tables which pit schools against one other. Instead, we will lobby for greater collaborative working between the local authority and schools, creating a network of expertise that will support and develop our city’s educational offer.

We want to end the testing of four-year-olds. Our children should not be used as data sets to judge a school’s performance by. We will encourage the development of a holistic curriculum with practical and academic skills and crafts to be taught in the classroom along with outdoor learning programmes.

We will ensure that children are taught about the climate crisis and given the opportunity to develop solutions. We are encouraged to learn that our new university will have a Faculty for Environment, Sustainability and Agriculture and hope our city will be a beacon to academics and students who wish to study here to help develop solutions for the future.

We will champion disabled people’s rights and call for equal access to every aspect of our city. It makes no sense that a city with the potential to be as progressive as Peterborough has such poor accessibility for disabled people. Peterborough should be a city for all, with everyone enjoying full access to a thriving arts and cultural scene, as well as a high standard of public transport, green spaces, public amenities and excellent shopping destinations.

We will make our city healthier, plant more trees, encourage more cycling and create a food strategy that will give everyone access to healthy food.

A vote for the Green Party isn’t just a vote for climate security and social justice. It’s also a vote for hard working councillors. The reason the Greens are so popular in Orton Waterville ward, where we already have two councillors, is because we have proved that we are community-focused advocates for the people we are elected to serve.

While our party has a remit to protect our planet, as elected individuals we are also committed to serving our residents to the very best of our ability, with high visibility and high-quality public service all year round.

No other party does all of this. If you want green, vote Green.