PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS: Joy for Julie who beats a big beast to become the first ever Green Party councillor
Julie Howell fought back the tears as she celebrated becoming the first Green Party councillor in the history of Peterborough City Council.
Ms Howell claimed a big scalp in Conservative cabinet member Gavin Elsey who had held the Orton Waterville seat for the previous 10 years.
Ms Howell was already a parish councillor for the ward. She believes that local knowledge and sheer hard work were the keys to her shock success.
Not that she was surprised.
"The reception I have had from the people of the Ortons in the last two years made me confident without being over-confident," she said.
"The key was the turnout.
"I knew from talking to people that many planned to vote for the first time in this election and they were planning to vote for me.
"It's a very emotional night for me. I'm fighting back the tears now. I've been bottling this up all day as I sensed we could be on for a famous victory.
"It's a win for sheer hard work by me and my very small team who operate with a very small budget compared to others.
"I gave up work two years ago to try and make a difference, to take on this big challenge in the Ortons.
"The public should expect sacrifices from their councillors and they should expect hard work on as many cases as possible. That is what I have given and it is what I will continue to give now I have been elected.
"And the public have rewarded me in the most amazing way.
"I've worked hard in helping to save the bus service in the Ortons. My staff have overheard members of the public talking about me in a good way which was encouraging.
"No-one has been listening to the people of Orton, From now on they will have a voice.
"I'm proud to be the first Green Party member of the council. People used to laugh at us, but they are not laughing now."
Julie HOWELL (Green): 1,413
ELSEY (Conservative): 1,058
Alan GASPARUTTI (Labour): 249
Rachel SPEED (Liberal Democrat): 64