Peterborough’s political group leaders set out stall for city council elections

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Leaders of the political groups bidding for seats on Peterborough City Council on May 5 have set out their stalls.

Current council leader Councillor John Holdich said under the Conservatives, 1,900 new businesses have been registered in the last year and a record 1,300 homes built.

He added: “We are proud of what we have achieved but there’s a lot more to do.”

Labour group leader Cllr Mohammed Jamil says recent boundary changes put his party at a disadvantage. He added: “One of the biggest issues I’ve certainly heard about on the doorsteps is the tidiness and cleanliness of the city.

“People will see us being more people orientated - with adult social care, with education and transport locally.”

UKIP group leader Cllr John Okonkowski said: “The main things we are going for are the environment, planning and housing - reduce pressure on housing by ending open door immigration.

“We are talking about housing for local people before anybody else.”

Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Nick Sandford said: “One of our major issues is providing people with effective councillors. We believe in empowering people and we keep them informed of what’s going on.

“One of the things we’ve achieved is to persuade the council to invest another £100,000 in public transport.”

Roger Proudfoot, Peterborough Green Party Coordinator, said: We want Peterborough to be a place where there is zero litter, zero homelessness, zero people on less than a living wage, zero decline in our native wildlife, zero fatalities or serious injuries on our roads, zero fuel poverty, zero discrimination and zero small business closures.”

Cllr Chris Ash, group leader of the Peterborough Independent Forum, said: “Our main work is geared to smaller issues that come together to make our wards decent places for people to live.”

Election hopes

Cllr Holdich wants a majority for the Conservatives while Cllr Ash wants no party to have a majority. Cllr Jamil wants the total of 12 Labour councillors to rise to at least 15 with Central, North And Dogsthorpe Wards targeted. Cllr Okonkowski would like 10 councillors, with Stanground a target area. Cllr Sandford wants a “considerable increase” from four Lib Dem councillors with Hampton targeted. The Greens are aiming for their first Peterborough councillor.