Why I’m not standing for election this year or indeed next year.

Stanground South Winners 2016. L-R Cllr Brian Rush, Shailesh Vara MP, Cllr Ray Bisby & yours truly.

I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that we have a local election coming up on May 3rd but I think some clarification may be needed, some of you querying why I am not standing?

Best get yourself a coffee because this is a long one.

Two years ago in 2016, the boundary commission decided that the increase in population and forecast growth of the old Stanground Central Ward would become too big for 3 councillors to serve efficiently and they didn’t like having 1 Councillor wards any longer which ours was (Stanground East).

Therefore the boundaries were redrawn with input from the public and the city council for the whole of Peterborough which resulted in Stanground being split up into Fletton & Stanground Ward and our new ward Stanground South.

‘Stanground South’ would be a new ward which would include Stanground East (Park Farm), Cardea, Oakdale and also a part of Fletton up to the Barclays Bank on High Street.

This change to ward boundaries meant that an ‘all out’ local election was required and this happened back in May 2016.

Peterborough has a constitution different to that of national politics in that it only has ‘all out’ elections when the boundaries are changed, the normal process being Year 1 – No election (Fallow Year), hence no local election in 2017, Year 2 – 1/3 of councillors, Year 3 – 1/3 of councillors, Year 4 – 1/3 of councillors.

To decide in what order this takes place after an ‘all out’, the Councillor with the most votes receives a 4 year term of office, the Councillor with the second highest votes receives 3 years and the Councillor with the third highest number of votes receives 2 years in office. The sequence then effectively repeats itself.

I was fortunate to enjoy the highest vote from you in 2016 in our new ward and so remain your Councillor for another 2 years before I need to seek re-election.

What’s vital though is to appreciate how Ray, Brian and I have been working hard as a team to secure the best for you and our ward and indeed Peterborough.

Apart from hundreds of individual case work items, we’ve fought some particularly difficult and totally unsuitable planning applications with you that would have had a huge effect on the amenity of our ward such as the Anaerobic Digestion Plant at Horsey Toll Farm and the Chicken Farm and Slaughterhouse near Farcet.

  • We secured the inclusion of the Whittlesey Road and Pondersbridge Junction in the PCC 5 Year Local Transport Plan and now we’ve secured the promise of joint funding from the combined authority and PCC to make the improvements happen.
  • We lobbied and secured the return to 8 grass cuts a year.
  • We’ve secured the expansion of Oakdale Primary School to two form entry, the build work to commence soon.
  • We broke the deadlock over the layby at Stanground Surgery and plans are being confirmed for the much needed larger surgery and car park right now.
  • We pushed for the build of the Cardea Pavilion to be completed and are proud of what a great success that has become thanks to the fine efforts of the great volunteers of Cardea Sports Association who manage and run it.
  • We are in close contact with Persimmon Homes to ensure the build, roadways and footpaths proceed as planned and where difficulties arrive, we work with Persimmons to try and resolve them.
  • We worked with PCC enforcement team to clean up and secure the field behind Stanground Community Centre after it was so badly abused after an unauthorised traveller encampment and further secured the funding to improve the protection of the Cardea Sports Pavilion from unauthorised encampments.
  • We secured the funding to improve the lighting and the conversion of the yellow beacons to LED on the Fletton Avenue Zebra Crossing.
  • We launched the ‘Clean It Up’ campaign to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pet, giving out free rolls of poo bags, securing extra bins and stencilling reminders on dog walking routes.
  • We’ve completed litter picks throughout the ward and don’t only do them at election time with over 120 bags already collected in Park Farm alone.
  • We work with the Police, Neighbourhood Watch, Residents Groups and all other authorities to ensure we tackle Crime and ASB head on when reported.
  • We take the education and development of our children extremely seriously and are all School Governors in local schools. I’m at Heritage Park, Ray is at Oakdale and Brian at Southfields.
  • We don’t do negative campaigning in our literature or on our Facebook sites. We will tell you who we are, what our values are, what we have done and what we will pledge to do.

We all love it here and that’s particularly why my wife, children and I made Park Farm our home some 20 years ago.

Ray, Brian and I are passionate about our ward and want only what’s best for everyone in it and for our great city as a whole.

I am honoured to continue to be one of your ward councillors and will do so for as long as both you and I wish me to do so.

Please help to keep our strong team together so we can continue our work and be proud to be the best ward in the city by voting for my colleague Ray Bisby this year on Thursday May 3rd.

Chris

Not just at election time. Ray joined me in Park Farm. Over 120 bags collected so far!