Local government in Peterborough


Local government in Peterborough

The City of Peterborough in the East of England [The nine Government Office regions formed in 1994, were adopted in place of the eight standard statistical regions in 1999. East Anglia is now defined as Level 2 Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. See [http://ec.europa.eu/comm/eurostat/ramon/nuts/codelist_en.cfm?list=nuts Hierarchical list of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics and the statistical regions of Europe] The European Commission, Statistical Office of the European Communities (retrieved 6 January 2008)] 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 district, broadly corresponding to the Soke, in the new enlarged Cambridgeshire. In 1998 Peterborough became independent of Cambridgeshire county council as a unitary authority, but it 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. The Conservative Party has held control of the council since 2002. The next election will take place in 2010.

Incorporation

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. ["Incorporation of Peterborough: Report of the enquiry held at the New Hall by Major Donnelly" J.S. Clarke, Peterborough, 1873] 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, the full title of the new municipality was the City and Borough of Peterborough and its inhabitants, citizens and burgesses. [Tebbs, Herbert F. "Peterborough: A History" (p.54) The Oleander Press, Cambridge, 1979]

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. [Mellows, William Thomas "Peterborough's Municipal Jubilee: a record of 50 years of Local Government 1874–1924" Peterborough Standard, 1924. See 17 & 18 Geo. V c.xciv ext. (mods.) — Min. of Health Provnl.O.Confn. (Peterborough Extn.) 1928 (c.xix), art.27(1)(a), sch.2 pt.I of O. ss.5-9, 20, 23, 24 appl. — Soke and City of Peterborough 1929 (c.lviii), s.33] 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. ["The Municipal Buildings" Peterborough Standard for Peterborough City Council, 26 October 1933] [Mellows, William Thomas "An outline of the history of Peterborough's public buildings" Peterborough Citizen and Advertiser, 1934]

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. The area however, 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 Huntingdon and Peterborough Order 1964 (SI 1964/367), see Local Government Commission for England (1958–1967), "Report and Proposals for the East Midlands General Review Area (Report No.3)", 31 July 1961 and "Report and Proposals for the Lincolnshire and East Anglia General Review Area (Report No.9)", 7 May 1965] 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 which had together formed the Soke. [ [http://www.wikilivres.info/wiki/index.php/The_English_Non-metropolitan_Districts_(Definition)_Order_1972 The English Non-Metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972] (SI 1972/2039) Part 5: County of Cambridgeshire] Although as a result of intervening development and a new town project, the present district has a much larger population than the Soke had. [The Peterborough New Town (Designation) Order 1967 under section 1 of the New Towns Act 1965, see the London Gazette ( [http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveViewFrameSetup.asp?webType=0&PageDuplicate=x0%20%20%20%20%20%20&issueNumber=44377&pageNumber=0&SearchFor=Peterborough%20New%20Town&selMedalType=&selHonourType= Issue 44377] ) published 1 August 1967] 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. [Issued under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 25 June 1974, see the London Gazette ( [http://www.gazettesonline.co.uk/archiveViewFrameSetup.asp?webType=0&PageDuplicate=x0%20%20%20%20%20%20&issueNumber=46334&pageNumber=0&SearchFor=Peterborough&selMedalType=&selHonourType= Issue 46334] ) published 28 June 1974] This became part of the non-metropolitan county of Cambridgeshire.

In 1998 the Peterborough became autonomous of Cambridgeshire county council as a unitary authority; but it continues to form part of that county for ceremonial purposes. [ [http://www.hmso.gov.uk/si/si1996/Uksi_19961878_en_1.htm The Cambridgeshire (City of Peterborough) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996] (SI 1996/1878), see Local Government Commission for England (1992), "Final Recommendations for the Future Local Government of Cambridgeshire", October 1994 and "Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of Basildon & Thurrock, Blackburn & Blackpool, Broxtowe, Gedling & Rushcliffe, Dartford & Gravesham, Gillingham & Rochester upon Medway, Exeter, Gloucester, Halton & Warrington, Huntingdonshire & Peterborough, Northampton, Norwich, Spelthorne and the Wrekin", December 1995] 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. [ [http://www.cambs-pa.gov.uk/about.cfm About the Authority] Cambridgeshire Police Authority (retrieved 9 December 2007)] 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. [ [http://www.cambsfire.gov.uk/fetch?src=xml/about/council The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority] Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (retrieved 9 December 2007)] 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. [Walton, Jemma [http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/features?articleid=3063217 Meet Peterborough's Volunteer Fire Brigade team] Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 26 July 2007]

Governance

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. [ [http://www.communities.gov.uk/pub/81/ModularconstitutionsforEnglishlocalauthorities_id1508081.pdf Modular constitutions for English local authorities] Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions, February 2001] 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 2008/9 is £236.9 million. [ [http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/PDF/council-ctax-CouncilTaxSumm2008-09.pdf Council Tax Summary and A–Z Guide] Peterborough City Council, 1 April 2008] 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.

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. Mrs. Patricia Nash MBE (Con. Bretton North) was elected 122nd Mayor of Peterborough on 19 May 2008 and will remain in post until 18 May 2009. The Deputy Mayor is Cllr. Gul Nawaz (Con. Ravensthorpe). Although the powers of the Mayor have diminished over time, the role has retained its importance. 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. [ [http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/page-8888 Mayoralty of Peterborough] Peterborough City Council (retrieved 6 May 2007) includes a complete list of previous incumbents] Mayoralty of the unitary authority has been held by the following councillors:

The Green Party of England and Wales and United Kingdom Independence Party also put forward candidates for election, however, these were unsuccessful.

Cllr. John Peach (Park), Cabinet Member for Finance and Human Resources, was appointed Leader of the Council on 18 April 2006; the Deputy Leader is currently Cllr. Stephen Goldspink (East), Cabinet Member for Efficiency and Business Improvement. [ [http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/page-8271 Cabinet Members and areas of responsibility] Peterborough City Council (retrieved 6 May 2007)]

District elections

One third of the council is elected each year, followed by one year without elections. At the last election there were 70 candidates contesting 20 seats. In 2007, turnout at the polling stations ranged from 26% in Orton Longueville to 55% in Central ward. [ [http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/elections07news/Elections-07-Photo-slideshow-Tories.2855223.jp Elections 07 Photo slideshow: Tories tighten their grip on city] Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 4 May 2007] At the previous election, voters were required to provide a signature before being issued with a ballot paper. [ [http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/files/dms/peterborough_22953-17142__E__N__S__W__.pdf Peterborough City Council (Election Security Measures) Pilot Order 2006] . See [http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/files/dms/Peterborough_22975-17162__E__N__S__W__.pdf Electoral pilot scheme evaluation] The Electoral Commission, 4 August 2006] This pilot scheme trialled new procedures which are now included in the Electoral Administration Act 2006. [Mellows–Facer, Adam [http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2006/rp06-026.pdf Local elections 2006] House of Commons Research Paper 06/26, 10 May 2006]

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. [ [http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/Former-mayor-is-charged-following.3160219.jp Former mayor is charged following vote rigging probe] Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 30 August 2007] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/7335364.stm Three jailed over rigged election] BBC News, 7 April 2008 19:16 BST] 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." Mrs. Beasley also revealed the city council is 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. [Muir, Jonny [http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/election2008news/Election-2008-A-fair-poll.4044737.jp Election 2008: A fair poll free of any irregularities] Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 2 May 2008]

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, Northborough, Orton Longueville, Orton Waterville, Peakirk, St. Martin's Without, Southorpe, Sutton, Thorney, Thornhaugh, Ufford, Upton, Wansford, Wittering, and Wothorpe each have a parish council. The city council also works closely with Werrington neighbourhood association which operates on a similar basis to a parish council. [ [http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/page-93 Parish Councils and Councillors] Peterborough City Council (retrieved 28 December 2007)] Parish elections are held simultaneously on the ordinary day of election of councillors for the district.

By-election results

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Peter Hiller
votes = 393
percentage = 44.6
change = -16.5
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Simon Potter
votes = 388
percentage = 44.0
change = +18.3
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Democrats (UK)
candidate = Peter Stead-Davis
votes = 64
percentage = 7.3
change = +7.3
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Mark Duckworth
votes = 36
percentage = 4.0
change = -9.2
Election box majority
votes = 5
percentage = 0.6
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 881
percentage = 41.0
change =
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Matthew Dalton
votes = 1,405
percentage = 69.5
change = +1.6
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Democrats (UK)
candidate = Jessica Story
votes = 393
percentage = 19.4
change = +8.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Michael Langford
votes = 224
percentage = 11.1
change = -5.2
Election box majority
votes = 1,012
percentage = 50.1
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 2,022
percentage = 33.2
change =
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Democrats (UK)
candidate = Christopher Spencer
votes = 640
percentage = 52.8
change = +1.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Brian Hutchinson
votes = 355
percentage = 29.3
change = +4.5
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Mary Rainey
votes = 218
percentage = 18.0
change = -5.5
Election box majority
votes = 285
percentage = 23.5
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 1,213
percentage = 30.5
change =
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Democrats (UK)
swing =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Angus Ellis
votes = 805
percentage = 53.7
change = -7.4
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Sheila Scott
votes = 591
percentage = 39.5
change = +0.6
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Democrats (UK)
candidate = Rohan Wilson
votes = 102
percentage = 6.8
change = +6.8
Election box majority
votes = 214
percentage = 14.2
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 1,498
percentage = 26.8
change =
Election box hold with party link
winner = Labour Party (UK)
swing =

References

ee also

*Cambridgeshire local elections
*Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire

External links

* [http://www.peterborough.gov.uk Peterborough City Council]
* [http://www.lgce.gov.uk/ Local Government Commission for England]


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