National award for Peterborough City Council’s elections team after five votes in a year

Peterborough City Council’s elections team has won a prestigious annual award for its dedicated work over a busy past year, during which they oversaw an historic recall petition and four other elections.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 6:00 am

The team was recently commended by the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) for its “dedication, outstanding effort and commitment” over the past 12 months.

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A signing station for the Fiona Onasanya Recall Petition at The Bull in Newborough

The AEA’s award scheme recognises members who have made valuable contributions and Peterborough City Council was nominated by the AEA’s management team. The team was handed the award at the AEA’s annual conference at the Grand Hotel in Blackpool earlier this week.

Last year, the team administered the first successful parliamentary Recall Petition in England following the conviction and jailing of former Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya for perverting the course of justice, which led to a by-election taking place in June.

The Recall Petition was run in tandem with the city council elections, with the count taking place the day after the Recall Petition result - which saw Ms Onasanya booted out of Parliament by her constituents - was confirmed.

The team also organised elections for the European Parliament and then had to prepare for a snap UK parliamentary election in December, which was called less than two months beforehand.

In a letter to the team, the AEA said: “Not only did the team help to shape future arrangements for Recall )etitions, they entered each challenge with enthusiasm and worked tirelessly to ensure all events were successful.”

Gillian Beasley, chief executive of Peterborough City Council, said: “We are extremely proud of the team’s efforts and this award is testament to their hard work and dedication.

“It’s fair to say that 2019 was a very challenging year. We were the first authority in the country to run a Recall Petition and its successful handling has made us a positive example for other authorities to follow in future.

“All of last year’s elections were organised smoothly and professionally, demonstrating the team’s total commitment to the cause.”