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20.03.17

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough £800m devolution deal approved

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s £800m devolution deal, which will see the region receive greater powers to run their area, has been given the green light by the DCLG.

At a visit to the Boathouse Business Centre in Wisbech, communities secretary Sajid Javid announced the news that significant funding would be put into the region in a matter of days, including around £600m for economic growth and £170m for housing over the next 30 years.

The soon-to-be established Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority will also be given powers to create new jobs, improve skill levels, build more homes and improve transport infrastructure. The reform will be spearheaded by a mayor who residents will be able to vote for on 4 May this year.

The latest development follows an Institute for Government report last week warning that “tinkering” of policies by central government had slowed the pace of devolution deals over the last five years.

A number of other councils across the country have struggled with passing their own deals, as devolution was declared “dead” in Oxfordshire and two councils withdrew their support from a Lancashire deal, something that has hindered the likelihood of a deal being finalised. 

Javid said: “The people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough came up with an ambitious devolution deal which puts them in charge of decisions that matter to them.

“This multi-million-pound investment into the region is proof that we’re backing Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with the resources they need.

“With powers over transport, skills and housing all coming to the area, I’d urge residents to head to the polls on 4 May and vote for their new mayor.”

Councillor Robin Howe, chair of the Combined Authority added: "This is a major milestone in the future of our region and we are thrilled to have been formally constituted by the Secretary of State.

"The members and officers of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) are committed and determined to bring real change to the people of this area and we are looking ahead to our first meeting on 20th March, and the Mayoral election on 4th May."

The DCLG revealed ambitious plans to deliver 72,000 new homes over the next three years, as well as pushing the region to be an “internationally renowned” world leader for knowledge and innovation.

It was also highlighted that the deal would look to reform public service delivery by better utilising the relationship between councils and public authorities and private sector bodies in order to get the most from the region’s economy.

Providing “world-class” transport systems that are “fit for the 21st century” is also seen as a key priority for the deal as central government looks to boost the East Midlands into being an economic force.

The latest news follows an announcement in November 2016 that the region would be the first non-metropolitan area to get a mayor.

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Comments

Cllr Chris Ash   20/03/2017 at 11:59

as faf as pr hype goes it ids excellent , there sadly the god bit ends. It seems to me that this is the thin end of the wedge for Peterbrough .most of the transport and housing deals alpear to be in and around Cambridge . so we get a share of 800 m But that wont compensate fir theososs f the givernment grant which has hit council budgets hard . There are too few good quality hones fr rent . That and social care should be top priority not ceating a new fancy set up with a high paid mayor and expensive offfice set up . . Its the begining of the end for local democracy.

John Booth   20/03/2017 at 12:51

Devolution in this form is not the end of local democracy but it will weaken it. The unelected LEP will have a place in the new Authority and will control a considerable part of the taxpayers' funds available for the area. Did the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough vote for this arrangement? Scotland had referenda in 1979 and 1997 on devolution. Why are those south of the Border treated differently? Consultation is not the same as having a vote.

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