Peterborough by-election: Candidates give their three key priorities if elected

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On Thursday, June 6 voters go to the polls after successfully recalling Fiona Onasanya following her conviction for perverting the course of justice.

This week we asked all 15 candidates to submit 120 words on their three key priorities for Peterborough. Their responses are below:

The count at the East of England Arena and Events Centre at the 2017 General Election

The count at the East of England Arena and Events Centre at the 2017 General Election

Joseph Wells (Green Party)

My top priority for Peterborough is to improve the city’s educational performance, particularly at primary level. I am concerned that the pressure to perform well in league tables is to the detriment of giving teachers the ability to place the welfare of their students and the needs to the city at the heart of everything they do.

I will work to ensure healthcare is brought back into local control and end the creeping privatisation of the NHS. I would bring mental healthcare in line with all other healthcare and ensure people experiencing mental health crises are supported close to their home.

I will work to ensure Peterborough achieves its ‘environmental city’ aspiration and lobby for an Environmental Protection Act.

Tom Rogers (Christian Peoples Alliance)

I intend to ensure Peterborough develops as a vibrant, successful, cultural and caring city:

1. Stop store closures and revitalise our city centre: our policy of a turnover tax, offset against corporation tax with reduced commercial rates, will mean our city’s stores no longer being driven out of business by big online traders like Amazon.

2. Ending homelessness: I welcome the council’s ‘Safer off the Streets’ initiative and would work to guarantee every homeless person in the city a free night shelter, affordable move-on accommodation and the practical assistance they need.

3. Education: I’m committed to improving our city’s schools for the benefit of all children; will champion parental rights and choice, and ensure timely development of the city’s university.

Dick Rodgers (Common Good)

1. To stay in the EU. It’s a great project building a peaceful, friendly community that benefits all including Peterborough.

2. A unifying national purpose to make the world a better place. This would improve the whole feel of our country. There’s lots of crucial challenges globally and we should become a caring, expert country - a deeply constructive influence in world affairs doing stuff that everyone can say of it - “I agree with that. I really want what we are doing together as a nation to succeed. “ That would make Britain a lovely, energising place to live and for our children to grow up in. Drugs gangs knife crime wouldn’t touch such children.

3. Elected regional government for thriving regions.

Stephen Goldspink (English Democrats)

My three priorities for Peterborough are to deliver the UK’s departure from the EU, press for at least 25% of the money going in overseas aid to be diverted to domestic spending (adult social care, mental health and housing in Peterborough will benefit) and press for the fund sapping, largely useless metro mayor authority to be abolished, thus releasing funds for Peterborough to spend locally.

The Brexit Party and UKIP are long on talk about Brexit, but only the English Democrats have taken action in the form of a High Court challenge to the Government’s extension of the EU exit date – please see www.defendbrexit.com.

Alan “Howling Laud” Hope (Monster Raving Loony Party)

I’ll be an honest, hard working MP and will represent your views, not my party’s.

I’m not in the habit, like other politicians, of making promises I cant keep.

So, lets keep my to my original idea of ‘Things’.

I will do ‘Things’ that need doing.

I will do ‘Things’ that are good for the town.

I will do ‘Things’ that will make Peterborough one big happy community.

In fact these ‘Things’ would be done with the help of your local knowledge.

When elected, I work for you, not for myself!!!

And, we shall have some good fun along the way, sorting it all out!

Bobby Smith (independent)

My three key promises for the people of Peterborough if elected:

A complete overhaul of the family court system to enshrine a child’s right to have a relationship with both parents unless it can be proved that one of them is a risk; conviction on the “balance of probability” will be abolished.

A huge investment in mental health services to give real support when it is needed right at the beginning instead of waiting till it is too late; my aim is reducing the suicide rate that is ridiculously high, especially for men.

Share my annual salary with everyone in Peterborough which means under my rule you will be 83p better off a year. (I’ll claim it back on expenses).

Beki Sellick (Liberal Democrat)

I’m the strongest Remain candidate (business owner, sustainability engineer and parent), so #StopBrexit is key. My priorities for an open, tolerant, united Peterborough within the EU are:

Economy: replace jobs that will disappear as call centres are automated and warehouses/ factories robotised. Our independent university should exploit Cambridge science. Peterborough should bring innovations to market and scale them up, creating exciting new jobs.

Environment: from our regular Peterborough Lib Dems’ Residents’ Surveys, people want cleaner safer streets, less congestion. We demand better enforcement and infrastructure investment, prioritising electric buses to improve air quality.

Services: police, NHS, education all cost money that Brexit is already wasting. Good jobs inspire attainment, support mental/ physical health, encourage local shops and payback in taxes.

John Whitby (UKIP)

Ignoring Brexit, three of the key objectives I’d have in my tenure as MP would be quite simple.

To reverse government cuts to the council’s Revenue Support Grant. Peterborough is really suffering from this, having lost £45 million from its annual grant, which is causing service cuts and at the same time increasing council tax. It’s a stealth tax.

Social care, including good quality, accessible, mental health provision is another issue. This needs to be within the NHS and government funding provision and supplied by the local councils and not profit-making private providers.

Education in Peterborough needs serious attention. The academy model is proving not fit for purpose as poor results and problems show. There must be local authority control.

Paul Bristow (Conservative)

My priorities for Peterborough are to stop fly-tipping, tackle crime and deliver Brexit.

To stop fly-tipping and end to our city being a dumping ground, we need more enforcement backed up with CCTV and stricter fines.

We will tackle crime by working with the police, the council and the community. We will combat dangerous driving with average speed cameras and more police on the beat with 105 already recruited in Cambridgeshire this April.

I would vote in Parliament to deliver Brexit as soon as possible as a member of the largest, and only, party able to get it done, so we can make it work for all Peterborough’s families and deliver a better MP who can work on local issues.

Andy Moore (Peterborough People’s Party)

Violence and drugs are on the increase, this is a result of poverty and affects the most vulnerable - youth, homeless, unemployed and elderly. It causes undue strain on NHS, police and social services. I am committed to removing this cancer from our streets.

In Central Ward alone, 61.4% of children are living in poverty (End Child Poverty coalition). I want to find the cause of this appalling statistic and ensure that families on lower incomes receive the support they need to work their way out of poverty.

There were 7,198 incidents of fly-tipping in Peterborough in the year to March 2018. I want to give greater powers to groups like Neighbourhood Watch to help protect our city streets.

Lisa Forbes (Labour)

I’m incredibly proud to live in Peterborough but we face some serious challenges. We are second worst in the country for SATs results, third worst for fly-tipping, fourth for litter and sixth for burglary.

This election is about so much more than Brexit. People that I speak to across the city are angry that we’re being left behind. As a local mum, I share that anger and I’m determined to do something about it. If you want an MP who will fight to make Peterborough safe again, invest in our children’s futures and clean up our streets then I hope I can count on your support. Together, we can make Peterborough a city we can all be proud of again.

Mike Greene (Brexit Party)

Decades of EU membership and Labour/Conservative rule have led our country, and the city of Peterborough, to its current position where we have an education crisis, a health crisis, a housing crisis and underpaid jobs and poor working conditions.

I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education for major (voluntary) contribution to schools and education. I will investigate and address why Peterborough is in the bottom 10 of 152 education authorities and why the promised university isn’t being delivered

I’ve advised 100s of leading international businesses and ran successful businesses. I will use that to attract more business and jobs to Peterborough 

As a property developer I’ll ensure Peterborough builds 1,000 homes a year needed for the next 15 years.

Patrick O’Flynn (SDP)

The biggest immediate improvement to the quality of life in Peterborough would be an increase in resources for law and order so citizens can use the facilities this city offers in safety and confidence.

After a decade of Tory cuts it is time to put the criminal classes to flight and spend more on protecting the law-abiding majority with more police on the beat.

We also need a major uplift in money for the NHS – not just for our brilliant hospital, but also for the primary healthcare system and my party has made that a priority in its policy commitments.

My final key priority won’t surprise you – to deliver the full Brexit that Peterborough voters have been awaiting.

Pierre Kirk (UK EU Party)

The priorities must be to greatly expand affordable housing stock with a particular focus on the young and university residential buildings. Peterborough was named a New Town in the 1960s; this is our chance to build that New Town with modern green and AI technology; new energy efficient buildings with faster Wi-Fi. Peterborough needs a non-politician with property vision. Homelessness must be tackled with long term skills development and housing plans.

We must regain and recoup the cut ‘austerity’ funds that are so eroding the functioning of the council services.

The Innovation Lab must be promoted to the hilt! The European Regional Development Fund support is at an end, we must secure new funding to become a start-up entrepreneurial centre.

Peter Ward (Renew)

Our relationship with the environment is destroying the planet. I will put Peterborough at the forefront of climate action by rolling out charging points for electric cars and incentivising ownership while supporting laws designed to drastically reduce our emissions.

Peterborough’s public services have been crippled by austerity. To fix that, I will fight to establish a National Sovereign Investment Fund from strategic shareholding in private companies, investing profits into infrastructure and vital public services. This will also help to rebalance the national economy away from London and towards Peterborough’s flourishing local economy.

The housing situation in Peterborough is dire; thousands are waiting for council homes. That’s why I support a Crown Corporation responsible for the development of new, affordable housing.