Peterborough and Cambridgeshire bodies call for new devolution deal with the government

Peterborough City Council news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

Peterborough City Council news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

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A new relationship with the government is being called for by political bodies, public services and businesses in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.

A letter has been sent to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, from 11 organisations in the county in a call to open discussions with the minister and government on a devolution deal.

The letter was written from all leaders of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s county, city and district councils as well as the Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP) and key public services such as Cambridgeshire police and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The letter says: “Freedoms on planning, development and housing will allow us to deliver higher growth, and speed up delivery of new housing.

“Certainty over budgets and greater fiscal freedom will allow us to plan better to build the infrastructure.

“Sharpened governance, closer working with business and clearer accountability will help strengthen local support for and ownership of plans for growth.”

Discussions would look at devolving more powers locally as well as exploring how the area could benefit financially and join up social care, health and public safety across authorities.

It would also look at how any devolved powers in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough could be governed – including the commissioning of independent advice to look at how this could be achieved.

Discussions over any devolution settlement would include fiscal devolution, certainty over budgets and greater control over public transport.

A similar deal for public safety across local authorities, police, fire, probation and other services would lead to a joined-up approach to sentencing, prisons and probation, it is stated.

The call for greater devolution comes not long after Peterborough City Council leader Councillor John Holdich said he was in talks with Lincolnshire councils regarding a closer working relationship.

Related: Talks between Peterborough and Lincolnshire confirmed.