Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, has today announced she will be putting her name forward for the Conservative nomination for the election of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in May 2017.
All seven councils in the region, as well as the Local Enterprise Partnership, have recently voted for a combined authority which will be established next year, and chaired by a new regional Mayor.
The new combined authority will manage powers and significant funds, which will be devolved from central government.
Mrs Allen, who proposes to combine the role with her current position as MP for South Cambridgeshire and give a significant proportion of any mayoral allowance to charity, said: “There is no doubt Cambridgeshire is a fantastic place to live and work, but it needs a strategic and joined up approach to deal with the challenges it faces. I am aware that although residents and businesses across the county recognise this, I also know many are worried this devolution deal will create another layer of bureaucracy.
“Because pressures on infrastructure and the affordability of housing are issues facing not only my constituency but the county as a whole, I believe I could offer the region a strong, coordinated voice.
“As the Westminster representative for one of the highest growth areas in the devolution region, and being someone who has direct access to ministers and decision makers, I believe I am uniquely placed to fill the mayoral role. This is coupled with my experience in both the public and private sectors, as well as managing multi-million pound budgets.
“The position of Mayor is not about party politics – it is about harnessing the wide range of skills, expertise and ideas that exist, regardless of political persuasion. It is about creating and protecting jobs, it’s about ensuring we have enough homes for people to live in and it’s about spending the budget in the best and most cost effective way. The role of Mayor must always put the needs of the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough first.”