Labour vow to raise scrutiny
TORY councillors will face a tougher test passing their legislation due to losses in Thursday’s election, according to members of the opposition parties.
The Conservative majority on Peterborough City Council has dropped from 17 in 2010 to just seven.
Opposition councillors had previously complained that issues like the Cathedral Square fountains and council tax rises could easily pass through the chamber due to Conservative block voting.
The Labour party are now their main opposition with 11 councillors. Labour group leader Cllr Nazim Khan thinks that this will mean greater scrutiny.
He said: “They won’t get away with what they were doing before. It is a really good result.
“They can now expect to face a very strong opposition, but a very positive opposition that will defend our city and hold the council
(METP-04-05-12BD107) to higher scrutiny.”
The council has 57 seats and the Conservatives held as many as 40 after the 2010 election - meaning they had 17 more seats than every other party combined.
However, after a poor performance on Thursday their number of seats has dropped to 32 - a majority of seven over the other parties combined.
The other 25 opposition councillors are made up of 10 from the Peterborough Independents (including three Liberal Party members) and four Liberal Democrats.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Darren Fower said: “The Tories do have a whip and it has been frustrating in the past when votes have been so one-sided.
“We look forward to working with the other parties in scrutinising the administration.”
Peterborough Independents Cllr John Fox added: “It will mean there will have to be more discussion with other councillors.
“In the past people have said there is no point voting for Independents because they have no power - now when deals need to be made, they will need to talk to Independent councillors.”
Conservative leader Cllr Marco Cereste said: “In a way, it was quite a good result. Other Conservative councils have been decimated but we are still in power.”
Among the Tory losses are Bretton North, East, Fletton and Woodston and Orton Longueville wards - all of whom had first-time candidates due to deselections and councillor retirements.
Cllr Cereste added: “Unfortunately I have no say in the selection process. If a deselection leads to us losing a seat, it is clearly not something we want to see.”
Cllr Sheila Scott, a Conservative election agent, said: “There are some serious lessons to be learned.”
leader: Cllr Marco Cereste.