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Ep 53. Compassion and cooperation, Mayor Dr Nik Johnson

Devolution is offering regions the opportunity to control more of the decisions that are being made locally, with communities reaping the benefits of every combined authority that pops up around the country.

Established in March 2017, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is one of the most recently established combined authorities and it follows in the footsteps of areas such as Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, and the Liverpool City Region.

For episode 53 of the Public Sector Executive Podcast, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, spoke to host Dan Benn about some of the most important issues facing his region, as well as what drives him as a leader.

Touching on the impact that pride in a region can play in economic growth, Dr Johnson said:

“If you can build up a framework of a sense of pride, identity, then business comes. There are a lot of examples where the culture – and the culture is of many things, it goes across the digital industry, across the arts – drives the economy…”

Another topic of discussion was the emphasis that the mayor places on combating climate change, with his role as a paediatrician influencing this:

“I have done my role as a doctor easily over 30 years and in the last 20 years, when I’ve been a consultant, I’ve been able to diagnose and treat children with respiratory conditions and can give them the best medicines in the world. The real sin here is that it doesn’t matter that I can give them the best medicine, it doesn’t matter that I can diagnose it, I know that if they live next to busy roads or if they live in poor housing – all of these things, in recent times have been shown through tragic situations of child deaths… are not acceptable…

“(I work) day in day out to make sure that all the officers at the combined authority realise the importance of putting public health, as well as the importance of air quality, the environment, at the heart of all policy development.”

To hear more about the role that Dr Nik Johnson plays as a medical professional and a local government leader, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.


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