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OPINION: Once in a lifetime opportunity to put people before politics and better outcomes for Peterborough residents

It is a vital time for our council to have stability and sensible leadership to navigate through the difficult financial and governance challenges it is facing.

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Change is in the air, and it’s not just in the seasons. Peterborough will soon have a chance for a change of the political administration. We have argued Peterborough deserves better. We believe that putting people before politics leads to better outcomes for the residents of Peterborough.

We now have a possibly once in a lifetime opportunity to see this when full council sits on 1st November.

How do we put Peterborough first?

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We know that the public want to hear more about the future of the regional pool, our community spaces, the future of the Hilton hotel, and the vision of culture and leisure provision in Peterborough.

We also need to ensure good education provision, protecting the vulnerable in our city, looking after our Environment and ensuring growth and prosperity that benefits all.

Whilst the smokescreen of creating fear of ULEZ and congestion charges is the current strategy for the administration to distract from the real issues, we will ensure focus is back on the real matters that impact the lives of Peterborough residents.

Many residents in Peterborough are struggling to put food on the table, which makes the whole concept of parading an oversized cheque around our city rebranding tax-payers money as a political party’s ‘gift’ to the city entirely distasteful. It also shows a complete misreading of the level of suffering many of our residents are currently feeling.

MP Paul Bristow and Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald believe that by constantly being seen with this ‘flouncing cheque’ is going to be a vote winner. £48m has been awarded to the city to develop the station.

MP Paul Bristow and Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald believe that by constantly being seen with this ‘flouncing cheque’ is going to be a vote winner. £48m has been awarded to the city to develop the station.

We are excited about the station quarter development, but we believe people of Peterborough want to hear about what it means for them:

What job creation will this development bring?

What businesses will gain from it?

What is the plan for the development?

That’s what we need to focus on, rather than political messaging about cheques.

Besotted with a chance to stand as a candidate in the next Mayoral election for the Combined Authority, the current leader is spending more time on campaign videos with the Peterborough MP that are in the interest of their political ambitions for the years ahead, rather than dealing with the serious issues at hand right now.

Where was the leader of the council the day after administrators were sent into the Hilton hotel development? Helping in the failed by-election in mid-Bedfordshire. It’s time to put people before politics.

Peterborough First has grown as a group and has a huge wealth of experience in its members. As a group of independent councillors, we are free of politics and that means we can work with fellow colleagues in the council chamber who share the same focus on our city.

We have the chance to see fresh perspectives and a new energy to contribute to city life.

What does this mean for our residents?

Whilst the financial challenges won’t change overnight, the way the administration of the City conducts itself and communicates with residents will change for the better.

We believe in working with compassion and transparency, and the good news is we can act this way without any cost to the council. We want to ensure we have an ambitious and collaborative council who work together to ensure financial stability for the council.

We will work across the chamber cross-politically to deliver the best outcomes for our residents and our beloved city.

 

 

MOTION TO PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL

1 NOVEMBER 2023

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  1. Motion from Councillor Harper

This Council has no confidence in the Leader of the Council, their Cabinet or their administration.

The minority administration has governed with the goodwill of the opposition members, however the opposition members no longer have trust or confidence in the Leader of the Council, their Cabinet or their administration, and seek an alternative leader and administration.

The political attacks and weaponization of the Council administration against opposition members has led to the relationship between the leader (including his cabinet) and the opposition groups (including former group members) deteriorating to such an extent that the delivery of our council services and having majority consent on major policy including the budget are at risk.

In an outspoken ‘hot seat’ interview with Chris Mann (right) on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald launched a series of outspoken attacks on political opponents. PHOTO: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

In an outspoken ‘hot seat’ interview with Chris Mann (right) on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this week, Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald launched a series of outspoken attacks on political opponents. PHOTO: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

It is a vital time for our council to have stability and sensible leadership to navigate through the difficult financial and governance challenges it is facing.

With this in mind we the opposition groups are proposing an alternative leader and subsequent administration, which will deliver the much-needed stability our city deserves and an administration that will enjoy the support from the majority of members of the council.

This motion asks for members to carry out a vote of no confidence to remove the current leader of the council (Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald).

It is signed by 10 Members as required:

Councillor Chris Harper

Councillor Peter Hiller

Councillor John Howard

Councillor Dennis Jones

Councillor Alison Jones

Councillor Amjad Iqbal

Councillor Christian Hogg

Councillor Chris Wiggin

Councillor Nicola Day

Councillor Heather Skibsted

And two reserve names:

Councillor Ray Bisby

Councillor Brian Rush

 

Cllr Chris Harper is leader of Peterborough First

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