There was a mixed reaction to the results of the first Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayoral election.
While there was disappointment for Liberal Democrat Rod Cantrill and Labour candidate Kevin Price as they failed to defeat the Conservative James Palmer, Green Party candidate Julie Howell was delighted to have won the party’s deposit back, while independent Peter Dawe also said he was pleased with how the campaign went.
Mr Cantrill told the Peterborough Telegraph: “Clearly I’m disappointed at not winning, but it’s been a fantastic campaign. We fought a good fight and we gave the winner a good run for their money.”
Asked if devolution can be a success for the county, he added: “I’d like to hope so. There is an amazing opportunity there, but this region faces two once-in-a-lifetime challenges, which is delivering that sustainable growth on an equal basis, and Brexit.
“That is the issue which worries me, in terms of the impact of Brexit on this region.”
Ms Howell said: “The result’s been incredible for the Green Party. We’ve been real players in this. We’ve turned out the vote in Peterborough which has made a huge difference to us, and I got my deposit back, and I cannot tell you how much that means to us as Greens.
“People laughed at the Green Party. Earlier on certain people have been saying ‘oh yes, Julie Howell - lentils, driving a car on manure. Things like that. But 12,000 first preference votes is amazing for us.”
Mr Price said: “Obviously from my perspective it’s very, very disappointing. I think we held up in pretty much all the areas, and it rather looks like the people of South Cambs have decided that Rod Cantrill, with 10,000 votes more than me, is where it was.
“I’m perfectly at ease with that. I think we fought a very good campaign.
“I’m not convinced the national picture would have had much on it. I think it was a concerted effort in certain areas by the Liberal Democrats with a lot of money on a lot of leaflets.
“James will do things differently to the way I would, but I do still think there will be benefits for the whole area. James will have the area’s interests at heart.”
Mr Dawe said: “I went into the election with objectives. The first thing was to put a number of things onto the agenda which has been massively successful, like the modular homes factory, the Broadway Theatre, electric cycles in Cambridge and a few other things.
“The second objective was to raise my personal profile so I can do more work like this. That’s been successful.
“And the third was an immersive learn about local government and what needs to be done in Cambridgeshire. That’s been successful as well.
“It was a vain hope I would get elected as mayor, but it was worth a try.”