Peterborough Council elections May 5: The Last Word
Today, every resident in Peterborough can vote to elect up to three councillors to represent them on Peterborough City Council.
All 60 seats in 22 wards are to be filled, with polling stations open from 7am to 10pm. With a few hours left before you decide how your council will look for the next two years, we invited the six largest Peterborough political groups to give their ‘final word’ on why you should vote for them today.
To find out what happens on election night, keep an eye throughout the night on this website or grab a copy of next week’s Peterborough Telegraph.
Nick Sandford, Liberal Democrat
This time last year, the Liberal Democrats nationally hit rock bottom. We paid a high price for five years in coalition with the Conservatives. Since then the Lib Dem fightback has begun. Our membership had doubled in Peterborough and this year we are putting up more council candidates than ever before.
The Tories have run Peterborough City Council for 15 years, spending millions on grandiose projects in the city centre whilst cutting services and neglecting our residential areas. Labour is in turmoil locally and nationally and on the council has been a weak and ineffective opposition.
Today you have an opportunity to vote for something different. People tell me they are fed up with councillors who just knock on their door every April when they want votes. Liberal Democrat councillors do things differently: keeping in touch with residents all year round and not just at election times.
With only four councillors, Lib Dems have had a massive impact on the city council: securing extra investment in public transport, stopping the council wasting money on the Your Peterborough magazine and dealing with hundreds of small local issues raised with us by residents.
We have campaigned for protection of our environment, better public transport, for opening up the council’s decision making process and for decentralisation of power to local communities. With more Lib Dem councillors, we could do much, much more.
So it’s your choice in today’s city council elections. More of the same or a different, fresher, more radical approach.
Mohammed Jamil, Labour
As the people of Peterborough go to the polls today they have a choice of voting in a Labour Party administration that will put the ordinary residents of the city at the heart of its policies. We will ensure that the city continues to grow and maintains its position of being an economic powerhouse within the region. We will create real opportunities for all residents in terms of housing, jobs and education.
Our commitment to the people of Peterborough is to ensure that we live in a city that is clean and genuinely meets our environmental aspirations. The Labour Party will ensure slower traffic speeds in residential areas, making them safer for pedestrians and cyclists and improve our air quality.
We want more regular street cleaning, free bulky waste collection and improved road surfaces. Labour Party councillors will ensure that your voice is heard in the council chamber and will work with local community groups so that the views of all residents are taken in to consideration when making key decisions affecting the city.
We will work closely with the Police and Council Enforcement to deal with crime, fly tipping and anti-social behaviour. We will strive for the highest standards in education where all children are given the opportunity to reach their maximum potential. We will make sure that the care of vulnerable adults and children is delivered correctly and ensure that our children are safe. Finally you will get hardworking, honest and reliable councillors who will tell you the reality of the situation.
Therefore I ask that you vote for change and Vote Labour on election day.
John Okonkowski, UKIP
UKIP is the only party showing real growth in local government, while the other parties are trying to hang on to what they have.
People see a lack of democracy and connection with the two main parties. UKIP bring a breath of fresh air into politics and offer the electorate a real alternative to the old status quo.
Our councillors come from different walks of life and really understand the communities they represent.
Importantly a UKIP councillor is not under a party whip like the old parties are. UKIP councillors are encouraged to represent the people who voted for them not the party they belong to.
Council budgets have been slashed by government over recent years and the funding needs an urgent review. National government is prioritising funding the EU, foreign aid and protecting Whitehall departments, ahead of protecting the services that you and the most vulnerable people in our community rely on.
Local government is under pressure and services are stretched due to the government’s open door policy combined with reduced funding. UKIP will change this and put people first.
We want to keep the National Health Service free and oppose Labour and Conservative attempts to privatise it. UKIP will prevent developers from concreting over the countryside, protect our pensioners, look after our veterans and help our young people seeking work. Something must be done.
You can be confident that if you vote UKIP, you’ll get UKIP. We are the only party being honest about immigration, jobs and housing; the only party offering a real alternative.
Roger Proudfoot, Green Party
Your Green Party candidates are ready to serve you. We strongly urge everyone who has the option to choose a Green Party candidate to put an X in our box today.
Why? The Green Party offers respectful, grown-up politics. While this election could be the first time Peterborough has a Green Party city councillor, several of our candidates are already experienced parish councillors, already hard at work in your communities and already fully aware of the issues that concern Peterborough residents.
We’re completely ready to work with you to find long-term solutions that work for our people, our city and our environment. You can rely on your Green Party candidates to keep a laser-sharp focus on what matters right here in Peterborough. We’re not interested in Westminster, we’re interested in you and the things we can do to make your lives better.
We’ve spoken to hundreds of you over the past few weeks and we know what you care about: litter, ASB, crime, outdoor spaces, parking, speeding, jobs and safety. We have the policies and the experience to meet all of these challenges and to help keep Peterborough a place to be proud of.
Our team of candidates are a strong voice for you. A city as diverse as Peterborough needs a diverse city council, fresh thinking and refreshing politics. Vote Green today and you are voting for local people who have the skills, passion and conviction to serve you and our city to the very best of our ability.
Chris Ash, Peterborough Independent Forum
If you vote for an independent or someone from one of the smaller political groups - you know you will be getting a councillor that is not looking over their shoulder to see what the party chiefs are saying or have party policy riding on their backs.
We will be working for you without fear of an outdated and restrictive whipping system.
We feel strongly that local government is about local issues that affect you. We don’t make promises we know we can’t keep nor do we pretend that your vote in a local election can change the government in Westminster.
There are many issues of concern: buses, housing, schools, road repairs, local policing – the list seems endless and the work to resolve issues never ending. You can be sure a local independent councillor will tackle those to improve your locality. You can also be confident we as independent councillors will act and speak out free of party political doctrine. We will work on those issues that matter to you and not jump on the next band wagon
We will take up the best line and follow through on issues important for our well-being, not the party’s.
John Holdich, Conservative
This election is certainly the most important for a long time. Not only will residents decide who they want to represent them within their local wards, but also choose who they trust to protect the enormous progress my team has been able to achieve for our city over the last few years.
If you want us to continue to protect your essential front line services vote Conservative today.
If you want better adult and elderly care services vote Conservative today.
If you want the blight of bad landlords eradicated vote Conservative today.
If you want a more vibrant and prosperous city centre vote Conservative today.
If you want balanced budgets and sustainable growth vote Conservative today
If you want better schools, and more of them, vote Conservative today.
If you want more businesses to invest in Peterborough vote Conservative today.
If you want continued record job creation vote Conservative today.
If you want more affordable housing in the right places vote Conservative today.
If you want cleaner safer streets, libraries to stay open and buses to keep running vote Conservative today.
The opposition’s election promises come easily but most will be un-costed political dogma, damaging our financial well-being. My administration team is committed to making our city an even better place for our families to live, work and grow and is well placed to face the inevitable challenges central government will throw at us and to tackle them as we have done successfully up to now. Please vote Conservative today for a better Peterborough tomorrow.