Local Elections: Strong on issues that affect us all

​This week, postal votes will be delivered to those who have asked for one, writes ​Dennis Jones, Labour Group leader.
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By using your vote wisely, you can make a vital difference to our city and the way in which it is run.

So, what does the Labour group hope to achieve with your help, either postal voting or by going to the polling station? Simply, and quite naturally, we’d like to be the largest party in the chamber. As there is no realistic chance of any party winning enough seats to form an administration outright, the opportunity to form a stable coalition with one other party that understands the issues that Peterborough faces after 23 years of Conservative administration will be helpful.

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What is important is that Labour will be doing our level best, not only to sort out the mess, call it legacy if you wish, from the previous administration, but also to create a level playing field for decent and honest politicians, yes they do exist, to be open and transparent about the issues we face and how much work we need to do now to keep the city heading in the right direction.

Labour Group leader Dennis Jones (Dogsthorpe)Labour Group leader Dennis Jones (Dogsthorpe)
Labour Group leader Dennis Jones (Dogsthorpe)

We are, however, very pragmatic and the way the cards fall after May 2 will lead to a common-sense solution to the benefit of Peterborough, not the interests of a few who have, frankly, astonished us by their utter lack of cooperation when they claimed they were the architects of collaboration.

If you witnessed the appalling scenes at last full council, an old adage may come to mind. That "If service is beneath you then leadership is beyond you”. and so, sadly, it has proved.

What needs to change?

It is a sad fact of life that, by and large, Children’s and Adult Social Services are not vote winners. Labour, however, is the party that will do all it can, locally and nationally to create the awareness to bring about social/ societal change needed to restore our Children’s services, not simply to “good” but, collaborating with all stakeholders, to see what we need to do to become “outstanding”. Who doesn’t want to live, work, and grow in a city recognised as outstanding?

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These are Labour’s foundations, our core principles and values we will not move away from as we will never move away from supporting the ‘jewel in our crown’, the NHS.

Labour was the first party in the city to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, within days of the atrocities – and in this newspaper.

But we recognise that we are councillors whose “day job” is getting the roads fixed and the bins emptied, and to restore our arts, leisure and culture offer to something it can be proud of once more.

Labour never has been a single-issue party.

We care passionately about the environment and the legacy we will leave for our children, but we know the limits of our influence locally.

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That is why it is vital that Peterborough elects a Labour MP when the general election is finally called. An MP with stature and gravitas, something we continue to call for, to further represent our city in Westminster on the national stage.

Please be under no illusions. Working as part of a stable administration to untangle the mess brought about by 23 years of intellectual and political arrogance by the Conservatives will be a tall order. Be assured, however, that the Labour group is equal to the task.

It will take time, but we will remain focused on the issues, locally and nationally, which affect everyone in the city we were elected to serve.