Whittlesea Rejects Peterborough South Plan

08:06 Tuesday 3rd April 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Residents in Whittlesea, Fletton and Woodston have voiced their concerns at proposals to change the boundaries to the constituencies that make up the UK. Today marks the end of a consultation on these proposals that would see the constituencies of Peterborough and North West Cambridgeshire replaced with Peterborough North, and Peterborough South, and the end of North East Cambridgeshire altogether. .. One area unhappy with the changes is Whittlesea. With North East Cambridgeshire being abolished, Whittlesea will join Peterborough South. But is it such bad news? Let’s speak to Mayor Mayor of Whittlesea. Good morning Mayor Mayor.
KAY MAYOR: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: Can I call you Kay, to avoid ridiculousness?
KAY MAYOR: I would prefer that, thank you. (THEY LAUGH)
PAUL STAINTON: Now listen, smiling aside, joking aside, why is it such bad news for Whittlesea to be part of Peterborough South?
KAY MAYOR: Whittlesea is part of Fenland, and Fenland, as a District Council, is being carved up. The four major towns in Fenland are being carved up into three parliamentary boundaries. And we don’t think that’s good, and we certainly don’t think it’s good for Whittlesea. I appreciate that Peterborough South will, in effect, fall in with the ecclesiastical boundaries of Ely and Peterborough Cathedrals. Peterborough North is Peterborough Diocese, and Peterborough South is Ely Diocese. But that isn’t a reason to split up the whole of the Fenland District Council boundaries into three completely different parliamentary constituencies. One thing I do want to say is that when you spoke to Stewart Jackson, and you referred to him as the “new MP for Peterborough North”, I’m sorry, but these will be two completely new parliamentary constituencies. And as far as we are concerned, there should be a proper selection process. And anyone who wants to stand to be a Member of Parliament can put their hat in the ring, and the members of those two areas, population of those two areas, can actually select their future MP, and not have it thrust upon us, so to speak.
PAUL STAINTON: I think we said potentially the new MP for Peterborough North.
KAY MAYOR: Thank you. Potentially. But he should go through a selection process as should Shailesh Vara.
PAUL STAINTON: Right. Ok. Don’t most people in Whittlesea look towards Peterborough? Don’t a lot of people in Whittlesea work in Peterborough?
KAY MAYOR: Some people work in Peterborough. Some people work in London. Some people work in March. Some people work in Wisbech. We go where there is work, don’t we? Peterborough people, some of them, come this way into Fenland to work. I don’t think that can be used as an argument.
PAUL STAINTON: Don’t you have similar issues to us?
KAY MAYOR: I don’t think so. We’re part of the Fens. Peterborough’s a city, isn’t it?
KAY MAYOR: And you have a much more different climate to what we do, I think.
PAUL STAINTON: Trying to save money here though Kay. We’re trying to cut down on the MPs.
KAY MAYOR: I appreciate that, and I appreciate that it was this government’s decision to do this.
PAUL STAINTON: What would you like to see happen then?
KAY MAYOR: I would like North East Cambridgeshire to stay as it is please. And so would a lot of other people. There have been petitions in shops. Individual people have written to the Boundary Commissioners. And we’re just waiting for the results. And I don’t want to think that it is a foregone conclusion, which I think some people are thinking it is already. I would like to think that the consultation has taken place, and it will be dealt with appropriately.
PAUL STAINTON: You don’t want us Kate. We want you.
KAY MAYOR: (LAUGHS) Sorry about that. But you’ve had your laugh at my expense this morning.
PAUL STAINTON: I apologise. Well listen, I think you’ve made your feeling very very clear.