OPINION: 'Difficult to identify what mayor achieved in 2021'

Cllr Bill Hunt believes that the impact of Mayor Nik Johnson in 2021 was "minimal"

Cllr Bill Hunt believes that the impact of Mayor Nik Johnson in 2021 was "minimal" - Credit: ARCHANT

I believe this newspaper is committed to trying to present a fair and accurate view of news to its readers and, of course, you should avoid political bias.

I comment on your article on page 2 of the Ely Standard, January 6 edition titled 'Mayor Dr Nik looks back on 2021'.

First of all, this article is presented as 'news'. It rather looks to me like a press release issued by the Mayor's PR team?

The Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (the current one was elected in May 2021) has an impact on about a 1,000,000 people's lives, this is a big and very well-paid full-time job.

An NHS Consultant(like our Mayor) is also a very responsible job which is appreciated by us all and is critical to the health and well-being of many.

I fully recognise and applaud the fantastic work the NHS does.

However, can one person fully satisfy the demands of both occupations?

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James Palmer was elected to East Cambs District Council in 2007 and for 14 years of hard work as a district councillor, a county councillor, the Leader of East Cambs and as Mayor, he toiled tirelessly to re-create the recently re-opened Soham station.

Of course, James had backing from many sources (East Cambs District Council was one) but this was overall 14 years - not in the last eight months when the final finishing touches were being dealt with. 

The impact the current Mayor has had on the Soham railway project has been minimal.

And it is disingenuous and inaccurate for him to claim any credit for this success.

The Mayor's ribbon-cutting speech was not fair or reasonable to those whose success it has been.

Looking back over 2021, I have difficulty in identifying anything major that the Mayor has achieved...

Unless he can claim responsibility for ending the £100k Homes scheme (except for in East Cambs where the district council has adopted it) and scuppering the Cambridge Metro project as successes. 

It would be difficult to call these cash-wasting cancellations "successes".

I believe that the Mayor has done little to fairly boast about unless he goes on to claim responsibility for other James Palmer schemes like Peterborough University?

I hope the Ely Standard will resist any future attempts to "guild the Lilly" and publish unfair and politically-motivated releases which misinform its readers.