It’s important to note from the start, that turnout for this years local elections was disastrously low, with the Council claiming overall, the figure was a mere 30%.
Thus, 7 out of 10 people on the electoral register, chose not to vote.
Hence, going forward the Council cannot claim to speak on behalf of the majority of people etc
Before the votes were count
In the weeks leading up to the count, there’d been some hope that opposition parties might be able to sneak two or three extra councillors, giving them the option to look at working together and forming, a formal or informal coalition, to run the Council. This has not happened.
Its not all bad
That said, it’s not all bad, as in my humble opinion, parties like Labour, may have avoided a political bullet?
I say this in relation to the state of things at the Town Hall presently.
Despite all the the political obfuscation from the ruling Conservative administration, the Council is facing a multi million pound financial crisis, even its own budget document, that they all voted on the other month, is full of numbers that are not guaranteed!
In additional, much of the Council’s strategy, seems to rely upon further service cuts and begging for money from central government?
I’d also add, that in my opinion, most of the problems faced by the Council right now, relate to previous and poor judgements of the past.
So, if a Labour led coalition had taken control of the Council this year, they would, straight away, have needed to sweep up the mess caused by the Conservatives. This, undoubtedly, would have impacted on their ability to fulfil some of their own pledges?
Furthermore, we should not forget that no opposition councillors ever fully know the reality of the Town Hall finances, until they take control.
The opposition councillors do still have a very important role though, in holding the ruling right wingers to account, if only over their statute obligations to the local population.
What about Wayne?
- Cllr Fitzgerald essentially admitting the national issues were playing on his mind!
- Wayne, describing making ZERO progress in increasing his own councillor numbers as “a great night..”?
- Straight away her mentions “talking to opposition parties“, this HAS to be him admitting to securing the support (once again) of the Werrington First brigade?
And here’s his “spin” burdened” tweet on the situation ….
As for why the turnout was low, I really cannot figure it out? For example, in Hampton Vale turnout was 20.65% and in Hargate and Hempsted, it was 21.73%!
You’d think people in this patch of Peterborough would want a say on things? Especially as its seen thousands of new houses built and people homed, it has its own Parish Council, which costs local taxpayers extra Council tax, and the area sometimes seems blighted by anti social behaviour, crime or transport issues?
There’s also a high proportion of parents in the Hamptons, so you’d presume they cared about the future? Yet, 8 out of ten residents on the electoral register there, decided its not worth spending 10 mins going to vote! I simply don’t get it?
Across the city, we have also seen several excellent candidates fail to be elected, despite a proven commitment to the community!?
And while some people complain about the standard of candidates not being ideal, I would counter such a remark, with the query, as to why some people spend more time and effort on choosing a pizza delivery, than they do selecting who should represent them on the Council for 4 years?
Having said all that, and in an attempt to remain balanced in my opinion, I’d also point out that the wards with the largest turnouts, were once again those that receive the most amounts of newsletters throughout the year, rather than just in the run up to elections. So clearly, constant communication, repetition of candidate names and party, can improve things.
Finally, the City Council themselves have always been poor at promoting the local elections and there is much more they could do, to ensure increased inclusion of voters.
But they don’t, and I wonder sometimes, if that in fact benefits them?
- You can read the full list of results from the Peterborough City Council elections 2022, by visiting here!