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Cambridgeshire CC vote against ‘shotgun wedding’ Budget devolution offer

Cambridgeshire County Council decisively rejected devolution proposals laid out in the Budget in a council vote yesterday.

Cambridgeshire County Council voted in favour of a motion from Liberal Democrat councillor Lucy Nethsingha stating that the devolution offer was ‘not acceptable in its current form’, with 64 votes in favour.

The deal would have seen the creation of an East Anglia Combined Authority, with £900m funding and one elected mayor covering Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Cllr Ashley Walsh, Labour leader in the council, said: “This is a shotgun wedding and George Osborne hasn't even had the decency to take us out to dinner beforehand.

“You would have more chance of finding the Fenland tiger than someone who supports a regional mayor across East Anglia.”

Whitehall will now have to revise the proposal, and probably remove the unpopular elected mayor option, before Cambridgeshire County Council debate the proposals again in May.

Conservative Cllr James Palmer said: “We have to stay at the table. This is not an agreement, it is a discussion. I can’t believe the insularity of this council – it is committed to failure.”

PSE interviewed Mark Lloyd, the former chief executive of Cambridgeshire County Council before becoming CEO of the Local Government Association, about devolution last year.


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25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >