Metro Mayor Johnson invited to resign following resignation of CEO Eileen Milner

An extraordinary meeting of the CPCA Board scheduled to take place on Friday

By Rob Alexander
Monday, 16th May 2022, 10:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 11:49 am
Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Metro Mayor, Dr Nik Johnson, has been invited to resign his position at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).

The announcement comes following last weeks’ resignation of CEO Eileen Milner who has resigned her £200,000 a year job, just months after taking on the role.

Spokespeople for the CPCA would comment no further other than to confirm the resignation: “We can confirm that Chief Executive Officer, Eileen Milner, has given notice of her resignation from the authority. We will commence the process of finding a suitable replacement in due course.”

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An extraordinary meeting of the CPCA Board has been convened for next Friday, 20 May 2022 in which a motion will be tabled, asking Mayor Johnson to resign.

The wording of the motion, which has three parts, is as follows:

In light of the matters listed in Confidential Appendix 1, the CPCA Board invites Dr Nik Johnson to consider either resigning as Mayor of the Combined Authority or, alternatively, voluntarily suspending himself as Mayor of the Combined Authority until all of the matters referred to in Confidential Appendix 1 are fully and finally resolved to the satisfaction of the CPCA Board.

In light of the matters listed in Confidential Appendix 1, the CPCA Board invites Dr Nik Johnson to consider either resigning as Mayor of the Combined Authority or, alternatively, voluntarily suspending himself as Mayor of the Combined Authority until all of the matters referred to in Confidential Appendix 1 are fully and finally resolved to the satisfaction of the CPCA Board.

If the Mayor has neither resigned nor voluntarily suspended himself in accordance with clause 1 above within 7 days of the passage of this motion by the CPCA Board, the CPCA Board shall be deemed to have passed a motion of no confidence in the Mayor, and the CPCA shall immediately send a request to DLHUC to request emergency support for the CPCA to assist the CPCA in fulfilling its legal responsibilities given that there will have been a breakdown of trust between the Mayor and the Board.

Ms Milner, who was formerly CEO and ACO of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), handed in her notice last month.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has been made aware of Ms Milner’s decision and the reasons for it, but this is just the latest in a long line of officer resignations at the CPCA.

During the previous Metro Mayor, James Palmer’s tenure, CEO Martin Whiteley, was awarded a severance payment of £94,500 leaving the role under similar circumstances, as the two clashed over policy and budget.

Mt Whiteley was followed by interim officers Kim Sawyer and John Hill.

Finance Officer, Karl Fenlon was sacked by Palmer when he revealed that budget projections were completely unachievable, something that Mayor Palmer denied, saying the statements were ‘misleading’, but it was later revealed that Fenlon had been correct.

With Ms Milner’s resignation, the troubled authority will be looking for yet another CEO.

The Extraordinary Meeting of the CPCA Board will take place at New Shire Hall, Alconbury Weald, Huntingdonshire PE28 4YE on Friday, 20 May 2022 commencing at 2pm.