Peterborough City Council
Mayor of Peterborough
Leader of the Council
|First past the post (elected in thirds)|
|2 May 2019|
|Peterborough Town Hall|
Peterborough City Council is the local authority for Peterborough in the East of England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. The City was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1874; from 1888, it fell within the jurisdiction of the Soke of Peterborough county council and from 1965, Huntingdon and Peterborough county council. In 1974, it was replaced by a wholly new non-metropolitan district, broadly corresponding to the Soke, in the new enlarged Cambridgeshire. In 1998, Peterborough became independent of Cambridgeshire as a unitary authority, but the city continues to form part of that county for ceremonial purposes as defined by the Lieutenancies Act 1997.
The leader and cabinet model of decision-making was adopted by the city council in 2001. It is a member of the East of England Local Government Association.
A public enquiry was held in 1873, to determine whether it would be advantageous for the city to be administered by a municipal corporation. The result being in the affirmative, the city council, sometimes archaically called the corporation, was founded by a Charter of Incorporation dated 17 March 1874, under the government of a mayor, six aldermen and 18 councillors. Something of an anomaly, the Parliamentary Boundary Commission of 1868 had decided that the urban parts of Fletton and Woodston were so involved in Peterborough that they ought to be in the borough and added the newly built-up portions of these parishes to the parliamentary constituency. In local matters they were still in Huntingdonshire and, as the City of Peterborough did not extend south of the River Nene, the full title of the new municipality was the City and Borough of Peterborough and its inhabitants, citizens and burgesses.
The new corporation was required to appoint a Watch Committee and a police force under the provisions of the County and Borough Police Act 1856. In 1947, the City of Peterborough Constabulary amalgamated with the Liberty of Peterborough Constabulary, which had shared its chief constable with Northamptonshire until 1931 and Peterborough thereafter, to form the Peterborough Combined Police force. This, in turn, merged into Mid-Anglia Constabulary in 1965 and was renamed Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 1974. The Fire Brigades Act 1938 made it a requirement for the corporation to maintain a fire brigade; under the Fire Services Act 1947 this function passed to the councils of counties.
In 1927, the city council submitted a memorial to the Minister of Health for permission to extend the borough boundary to include Gunthorpe, Longthorpe, Paston, Walton, Werrington and the area north-east of Fengate; this became effective from 1929. Until this point the council were using the Guildhall and a large number of subsidiary offices, but the need to widen Narrow Bridge Street and the need for a new Town Hall came together in a combined scheme, resulting in the building of the present Town Hall. It was opened in 1933 and accommodated both Peterborough city council and the former Soke of Peterborough county council.
Under the Local Government Act 1888, the ancient Soke of Peterborough formed an administrative county in its own right, with boundaries similar, although not identical, to the current unitary authority. Nonetheless, it remained geographically part of Northamptonshire until 1965, when the Soke of Peterborough was merged with Huntingdonshire to form the county of Huntingdon and Peterborough. The municipal borough covered the urban area only; under the Local Government Act 1972, Huntingdon and Peterborough was abolished and the current district created, including the outlying rural areas. However, as a result of intervening development and a new town project, this has a much larger population than the Soke had. Having petitioned for borough status under Section 245 of the Act, letters patent were granted continuing the style of the city over the wider area, which became part of the non-metropolitan county of Cambridgeshire.
In 1998, the city gained autonomy from county council control as a unitary authority area, but it continues to form part of Cambridgeshire for ceremonial purposes. Policing in the city remains the responsibility of Cambridgeshire Constabulary. The police authority comprises 17 members, including nine councillors, of which seven are nominated by Cambridgeshire county council and two are nominated by Peterborough city council. Firefighting remains the responsibility of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. The joint fire authority comprises 17 elected councillors, 13 from Cambridgeshire county council and four from Peterborough city council. Nowadays the Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade, one of few of its kind, effectively functions as a retained fire station, responding to calls as directed by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The leader and cabinet model of decision-making, adopted by the city council under the Local Government Act 2000, is similar to national government. The council appoints the Leader (usually a member of the group with the political majority) and he or she appoints up to nine other councillors to serve on the cabinet. The cabinet members, one of whom is appointed Deputy Leader, assume responsibility for different key areas of local governance. The full council meets around ten times a year. There are decisions that only full council can make, these include setting budgets and spending programmes, setting council tax levels and approving major policies and priorities. In addition to the Leader of the Council, the council also appoints the Mayor of Peterborough, the Deputy Mayor, committee chairmen and the chief executive. The cabinet and committees report to, and are accountable to, council.
The council's budget for the financial year 2018/19 is £418.7m (down from £432.6m in 2017/18). The main source of non-school funding is the formula grant, which is paid by government to local authorities based on the services they provide. The remainder, to which the police and fire authorities (and parish council where this exists) set a precept, is raised from council tax and business rates. Following the 2010 Spending Review, the council announced that 11.1% could be cut from departmental budgets to save £65m over a five-year period and up to 181 posts could be lost.
The city council elects a Mayor to serve for a term of one year. The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Peterborough, Cllr Gul Nawaz (Con. Ravensthorpe) was elected 134th Mayor of Peterborough on 21 May 2019 and will remain in office for one year. The Deputy Mayor is Cllr Diane Lamb (Con. Wittering). Although the powers of the Mayor have diminished over time, the role has retained its importance. The Mayor has social and legal precedence in all places within the city unless HM the Queen or her personal representative, a close member of the Royal Family or the Lord Lieutenant is present. The Mayor also has a key democratic role to play, acting as a politically impartial chairman of the council and making sure that proper conduct takes place in the chamber during its meetings. The Mayor does not take part in debate or vote, except to break ties. Mayoralty of the unitary authority has been held by the following councillors:
|1998–1999||Mary Beatrice Rainey BEd (Hons)|
|1999–2000||John Ernest Graham Bartlett|
|2000–2002||Raymond Arthur Pobgee MBE, DL|
|2002–2003||Clifford Stanley Horace Sneesby|
|2005 died||John Ray Horrell CBE|
|2006–2007||Michael Burton OBE, FRIN|
|2007–2008||Marion Yvonne Todd|
|2008–2009||Patricia Nash MBE|
|2011–2012||Paula Thacker MBE|
The East of England Regional Assembly was based at Flempton, near Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk. The assembly was created as a voluntary regional chamber by the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 and the first meeting was held in March 1999. Following criticism of the regional assemblies, it was proposed in 2007 that they would be axed, losing their role by 2010. It was replaced by the East of England Local Government Association who established a Regional Strategy Board to act as Local Authority Leaders' Board under the provisions of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. This role ended in 2010, with the abolition of statutory regional planning in England.
GO East, the Government Office for the East of England, co-ordinated the functions of national government in the region until 2011. The abolition of the Government Office network was announced in the 2010 Spending Review.
A combined authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough was established in 2017, with the first mayoral elections taking place on 4 May.
Political control of the unitary authority has been held by the following groups:
|1999||No overall control
Lab largest single party
|2000||No overall control
Con largest single party
|2001||No overall control
Con largest single party
|2014||No overall control
Con largest single party
|2015||No overall control
Con largest single party
|2017||No overall control
Con largest single party
|2019||No overall control
Con largest single party
|2020||No overall control
Con largest single party
In 2016, every councillor was up for re-election following changes made by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England. The Conservative group currently run the council on a minority basis with the support of the three Werrington First Councillors and the casting vote of the Conservative Mayor.
The council comprises 60 councillors who represent the city and surrounding villages. Each councillor typically serves for a four-year term, representing an electoral ward. Wards are divided so that each councillor serves an average of around 2,000 electors.
These are (in alphabetical order): Barnack, Bretton, Central, Dogsthorpe, East, Eye, Thorney & Newborough, Fletton & Stanground, Fletton & Woodston, Glinton and Castor, Gunthorpe, Hampton Vale, Hargate and Hempsted, North, Orton Longueville, Orton Waterville, Park, Paston & Walton, Ravensthorpe, Stanground South, Werrington, West, Wittering. 15 wards comprise the Peterborough constituency for elections to the House of Commons, while the remaining seven fall within the North West Cambridgeshire constituency.
|Parliamentary constituency||Ward||Councillor||Party||Term of office|
|Eye, Thorney & Newborough||Richard Brown||Conservative||2018–22|
|Gunthorpe||Andrew Bond||Liberal Democrats||2018–22|
|Sandra Bond||Liberal Democrats||2019–23|
|Paston and Walton||Simon Barkham||Liberal Democrats||2018–22|
|Asif Shaheed||Liberal Democrats||2019–23|
|Nick Sandford||Liberal Democrats||2021–24|
|Werrington||Stephen Lane||Werrington First||2018–22|
|Judy Fox||Werrington First||2019–23|
|John Fox||Werrington First||2021–24|
|North West Cambridgeshire
|Fletton and Stanground||Christian Hogg||Liberal Democrats||2018–22|
|Terri Haynes||Liberal Democrats||2019–23|
|Fletton and Woodston||Alan Dowson||Labour||2018–22|
|Glinton and Castor||Peter Hiller||Conservative||2019–23|
|Saqib M Farooq||Conservative||2021–24|
|Hampton Vale||Marco Cereste||Conservative||2018–22|
|Chris Wiggin||Liberal Democrats||2019–23|
|Hargate and Hempsted||Mohammed Farooq||Conservative||2018–22|
|Nicolle Nkazimulo Moyo||Conservative||2021–24|
|Orton Longueville||Irene Walsh||Conservative||2018–22|
|Orton Waterville||Nicola Day||Green||2018–22|
|Stanground South||Ray Bisby||Conservative||2018–22|
|Chris Harper||Werrington First||Independent ||2021–24|
Each ward elects up to three councillors by the first past the post system of election. Barnack and Wittering each elect one councillor, Glinton & Castor and West each elect two. All other wards elect three councillors. The current composition of the city council, following the 2021 elections, inclusive of defections and deaths, is:
Cllr John Holdich OBE (Glinton and Castor), Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and University and former mayor (1995-1996) was appointed Leader of the Council in 2015, replacing Cllr Marco Cereste OMRI (Stanground Central), who had served in the role since 2009. The Deputy Leader is currently Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald (West), Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Public Health, replacing Holdich, who had served in that role since 2013.
One third of the council is elected each year, followed by one year without elections. At the 2019 election, for example, there were 97 candidates from 9 parties contesting 20 seats and turnout at the polling stations ranged from 24% in Stanground South to 46% in Park ward.
In April 2008 a former Mayor, Mohammed Choudhary, was convicted for making a false instrument, namely a poll card, in connection with vote-rigging allegations during the 2004 election. In May 2008 chief executive, Gillian Beasley, said "People can have confidence in this result because measures that have been put in place have ensured that the vote was carried out within the law." Beasley also revealed the city council was to write a report on tackling election fraud, after the Electoral Commission said it could be adopted as best practice. As part of the drive to reduce election fraud, the council sent out blank registration forms, resulting in more than 8,000 people falling off the electoral roll.
Civil parishes do not cover the whole of England and mostly exist in rural areas. They are usually administered by parish councils which have various local responsibilities. Parish councillors, like city councillors, are elected to represent the views of local people. Ailsworth, Bainton, Barnack, Borough Fen, Bretton, Castor, Deeping Gate, Etton, Eye, Glinton, Helpston, Marholm, Maxey, Newborough & Borough Fen, Northborough, Orton Longueville, Orton Waterville, Peakirk, Southorpe, Sutton, Thorney, Thornhaugh, Ufford, Wansford, Wittering, and Wothorpe & St Martin's Without each have a parish council. Wothorpe and St Martin's Without merged on 4 March 2020. The city council also works closely with Werrington neighbourhood association which operates on a similar basis to a parish council. Parish elections are held every four years on the ordinary day of election of councillors for the unitary authority.
|Liberal Democrats||Daniel Gibbs||237||12.1||+4.6|
|Liberal Democrats||Callum Robertson||35||1.8||+1.8|
|Liberal Democrats||Ian Hardman||109||3.2||-1.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Jelana Stevic||332||9.0||+9.0|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||13.7|
|Liberal Democrats||Ginny McDermid||224||10.4||+7.4|
|English Democrat||Jane Cage||93||4.3||−20.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Peter Stead-Davis||64||7.3||+7.3|
|Liberal Democrats||Jessica Story||393||19.4||+8.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Christopher Spencer||640||52.8||+1.1|
|Liberal Democrats hold||Swing|
|Liberal Democrats||Rohan Wilson||102||6.8||+6.8|
On Thursday 23 June 2016 Peterborough voted in the 2016 EU Referendum under the provisions of the European Union Referendum Act 2015 where voters were asked to decide on the question "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" by voting for either "Remain a member of the European Union" or "Leave the European Union". The result produced a large "Leave" majority by 61% of voters on a turnout of 72% across the city with only the wards of Peterborough Central, Barnack and late postal votes in the city council area returning "Remain" votes and all other wards returning "Leave" majority votes. The then local MP Stewart Jackson backed "Leave", whereas local MP Shailesh Vara campaigned for a "Remain" vote.
|United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 |
|Leave the European Union||53,216||60.89%|
|Remain a member of the European Union||34,176||39.11%|
|Invalid or blank votes||77||0.09%|
|Registered voters and turnout||120,892||72.35%|
|Eye, Thorney & Newborough||1,846||3,568|
|Fletton & Stanground||1,612||2,949|
|Fletton & Woodston||2,170||2,669|
|Glinton & Castor||1,774||2,275|
|Hargate & Hempsted||1,320||1,439|
|Paston & Walton||1,442||3,226|