Voters will decide if I am worth £75,000 says Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor

The new Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said voters will decide whether he is worth a salary of £75,000.

Saturday, 1st July 2017, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:44 am
Mayor James Palmer

James Palmer’s pay packet was voted through yesterday by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, the public body which he heads up.

The final total was recommended by an Independent Remuneration Panel, which also called for the salary to be reviewed within two years.

Asked if he was worth the money, which is funded by the taxpayer, Mayor Palmer said: “That’s for people to judge in four years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I will work very hard for the people of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire and they will judge me.

“The independent specialists looked at my budget of £770 million, looked at the need for housing across the area, the need to bring new businesses into the area, to create opportunities through a new university and apprenticeships, and they decided that’s the amount to pay.”

Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich, who sits on the combined authority, said: “The man is working extremely hard. I think it’s the right pay for the job.

“It could be a lot more - there are chief executives of a council who are earning twice that. I’m absolutely certain he will earn his keep.”

However, Liberal Democrat city councillor Darren Fower said: “It’s a made-up job so there’s no surprise it’s a made-up salary. It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

The combined authority also yesterday approved £2.25 million to commission feasibility studies and business cases into road schemes, including the dualling of the A47 between the A16 to the east of Peterborough and Walton Highway to the east of Wisbech, as well as an extension from the A47 to the M11.