Peterborough should turn out in force to vote for a new elected mayor, according to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.
The government minister is urging city residents to have their say when polls open on Thursday, May 4 for the first ever mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Mr Javid is visiting the Boathouse Business Centre in Wisbech today (Thursday, March 16) to talk up devolution in the county.
He 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 May 4 and vote for their new mayor.”
Under devolution, a new combined authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has been set up. This will be led by the new mayor with the cabinet featuring the leaders of the county’s seven biggest councils (including Peterborough City Council) and a representative of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership.
The combined authority will have a devolved transport budget, £170 million to spend on housing (of which £70 million is ringfenced for Cambridge) and £20 million a year for the next 30 years to invest in the county.
It will also have new powers over skills and responsibility for the adult education budget in the region.
Speaking about today’s visit, Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “Wisbech is the most disadvantaged community in Cambridgeshire and has missed out badly on funding in recent years, the kind of money that both devolution and the additional government investment that Sajid Javid can organise to create more jobs and housing and skills training, and address the priorities of local people and businesses so they can have a genuine say.
“Along with other Labour councillors I want Wisbech and other Cambridgeshire market towns to gain a share in the kind of prosperity Cambridge enjoys.
“So I hope the Secretary of State returns to London following his visit with the local MP and councillors and his efforts to promote his party’s mayoral candidate fully informed and determined to make this happen for Wisbech and all our other communities that need a turnaround.”