Chairman of Combined Authority business board warns of resignation if more ‘keen minds’ cannot be found

The leader of a newly-created Business Board set up to drive the county’s wealth and jobs creation is to step down.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 2:14 pm
Kim Sawyer, interim chief executive for the Combined Authority.

Aamir Khalid, chairman of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Business Board, says the growing demands of the role combined with an increase in his own work commitments mean he will have to step down.

Mr Khalid, who was recently made chief executive of research and technology organisation TWI, of Cambridge, has also called for more members to be recruited to the business board to help share the workload.

The private sector-led business board, which has nine members, which include one woman, was set up just over a year ago by the Combined Authority.

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Aamir Khalid, chairman of the Combined Authority's business board.

Mr Khalid told the board: “When I took on this role I don’t think any of us sitting here today expected it to prove to be such a full-time commitment as it has turned out to be.

“We need to find ways of making the Business Board more independent from the Combined Authority by delegating some of the work to Committees and even Sub-Committees.

“We need to encourage as many as 10 new Business Board members to join us, bringing new talent to the table.”

Kim Sawyer, interim chief executive, said: “We need to bring in more keen business minds who have the time and ability to drive forward business growth in Cambridgeshire.

“We also need to address the gender gap in our current board members.

“There’s no shortage of talent out there.”

She added: “The problem is that for most chief executives and chief financial officers of big companies, their lives are full enough running the businesses they own or work for.

“Somehow we need to tap into that pool of talent and encourage them to come and take up a role on the Business Board of the Combined Authority because over the coming months we will need them to rise to the challenge of all the exciting projects we have planned.”

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