Have your say on Peterborough and Cambridgeshire devolution deal

Outside the Council chamber at Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street. Photo: Paul Franks/Peterborough Telegraph
Outside the Council chamber at Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street. Photo: Paul Franks/Peterborough Telegraph

People in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are being asked for their views on the creation of a Combined Authority and directly elected mayor for the area as part of a new devolution deal.

Launched today, the public consultation will run until Tuesday, 23 August 2016.

Seven councils and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership have joined together to ask Government for some powers, responsibilities and funding to be transferred from Central Government to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

This means a greater number of decisions on public services would be made locally, rather than nationally.

In the past few weeks councils have voted to put a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal out to public consultation. Councillors want to hear what the public thinks about putting powers and funding, normally decided by Government, into the hands of local people.

This proposal is to be the first in a series of proposals which devolve more funding and powers from Government to this area.

A Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority would include a councillor from each of the local councils and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

In order to receive the funding and to make decisions more locally, Government requires that there is an elected mayor. This means local people will be given the chance to directly elect their choice to become Mayor, to chair and lead the Combined Authority.

There would also be checks and balances with representatives of the partner organisations making sure any decisions are made democratically. No powers will be taken away from councils without their consent.

Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “All councils in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, as well as our local enterprise partnership, have agreed to put our devolution proposal out to public consultation.

“Now it’s over to residents and businesses to tell us what they think.

“I believe this is one of the best devolution deals in the country with a new £170 million funding pot to build new homes in what is one of the fastest growing areas of the UK.

“On top of that we would receive £20million every year to fund key infrastructure projects in order to support our ambitions to accelerate economic growth across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“Devolution means that local areas would take on responsibilities from Government, not duplicate them. Therefore a greater number of decisions impacting on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough would be taken locally by those that better know the strengths and challenges of our communities.

“I would encourage people to give their views in the consultation so councils and the Secretary of State can take an informed view later in the year.”

Residents are now being asked for their views on the devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership will be consulting with businesses. Councils will also be carrying out a telephone survey over the course of the consultation to make sure our feedback is representative of residents across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Once the public consultation concludes, responses will be reviewed and each council will then have to formally agree the deal later this year. This means the Government could give final approval to a deal before the end of the year.

For more information about how to have your say, visit https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/council/strategies-polices-and-plans/council-strategies/devolution/