Mayoral candidate wants to fix the ‘failed’ council system with digital revolution

PUBLISHED: 10:19 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:19 29 November 2016

Peter Dawe.

Peter Dawe.

Iliffe Media Ltd

Mayoral contender Peter Dawe wants to use social media to deliver a ‘Cambridgeshire which people want’.

The entrepreneur revealed his idea to revolutionise local politics after confirming he has sold Cambridge TV in order to stand for election as mayor of a devolved Cambridgeshire.

Multi-millionaire Mr Dawe, who made his fortune from the UK’s first internet service provider Pipex, had to sell the station in order to stand. It will lead to the loss of eight jobs.

The TV station has been bought by Oxford company That’s TV, which runs local stations in various parts of the country.

But speaking about his bid to become mayor of a devolved county, Mr Dawe said social media could revolutionise the way people vote.

He said: “Over the years I have tried innovations privately, some successful, some frustrated by councils deciding that’s not how we do it. The biggest innovation though would be rather than doing consultations in order to decide policies, it will be more of a case of asking first what people want.

“With modern internet and mobiles the ability to have cheap, rapid conversations with the whole electorate is much more feasible.

“If we can create an atmosphere where people do start voting on questions on a regular basis we can actually deliver a Cambridgeshire which people want.

“I would argue that the council system has pretty much failed as a system. It does not seem to be able to deliver. If anyone wants me to come and speak to their community I am quite happy to. They can send an email to

“Yes, I want to revolutionise the way things are done and if this digital democracy idea works in Cambridgeshire, it could completely change politics.”

Mr Dawe said nobody locally had wanted to buy Cambridge TV but the TV school will be kept going.

He added: “I was disappointed nobody in Cambridgeshire wanted to buy it. I was obliged to sell it because one of the rules behind the local licence is that you are not allowed to be a candidate in a local council election.

“One of the features of the deal with That’s TV is that the school will be able to continue to put the producers out on a local channel.”

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