We asked the North West Cambridgeshire election candidates: If elected, what would your priorities be for Peterborough?
Shailesh Vara, Conservative
Peterborough is a vibrant and dynamic city full of potential and it is the Conservatives with an optimistic vision for its future.
In recent months the Government have announced Peterborough as part of the new Towns Fund’s £3.6 billion investment.
The community, businesses and local leaders must now come together to develop ambitious plans to boost the city’s economic growth prospects, focusing on broadband connectivity, transport and skills.
We must ensure that Peterborough continues to attract investment and is recognised as a great place to live in and do business. Providing good quality jobs for local people is definitely a priority.
To support this investment, the necessary infrastructure must be in place to facilitate growth. That means affordable housing, proper service provision and reliable transport links across the city.
Education is fundamental to Peterborough’s development and with increased funding commitments from a Conservative government, we have a real opportunity to raise standards across the city, as well as ensuring facilities for young people outside of the classroom.
With plans also on track to deliver a dedicated university by 2022, Peterborough has the potential to become a hub of innovation and creativity.
Nicola Day, Green Party
My main priority would be to provide a greener, cleaner transport network for people who wish to travel in and out of Peterborough city centre from Hampton, Woodston and Orton (city centre shops desperately need their custom!).
I would prioritise active travel (walking and cycling) and work to improve local bus services into the city, which are currently too expensive and unreliable.
Fewer cars in the city centre will improve the air quality so that people living there will benefit from the cleaner air that people in NW Cambs constituency currently enjoy. Around schools I would work with Sustrans to introduce car-free streets, promoting active travel and cleaner air.
Schools in our city must be properly funded by national government. It is no secret that our headteachers are struggling to cope with the cuts and schools are having to cut back on non-core subjects, lunchtime supervision, teaching assistants and classroom resources. I would campaign to ensure all schools are fairly funded, with teachers given adequate planning and assessment time within the working week. This will help us to address teacher recruitment and retention issues. I would scrap narrow accountability measures such as SATS, league tables and Ofsted and introduce more holistic, teacher-led assessment. Children with special educational needs and disabilities would receive high quality education that enables them to thrive, not just survive.
*Ed Murphy submitted a response for the Labour Party, but he has since been deselected from the campaign.