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Devolution for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Words: Laura Edgar

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has announced a devolution plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which will see residents vote for a mayor on 4 May, 2017.

The deal comprises fresh powers to create new jobs, improve skills levels, build more homes and improve transport.

Funding includes £600 million for economic growth and £170 million for housing.

Javid said: “The people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough came up with an ambitious devolution deal which puts them in charge of decisions that matter to them.

“This multimillion-pound investment into the region is proof that we’re backing Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with the resources they need.”

The area will receive new planning and housing powers to manage planning across the region. This includes a £100 million Housing Investment Fund and an additional £70 million ring-fenced for Cambridge City to meet its housing needs.

Additionally, the region will control a new investment fund of £320 million a year over the next 30 years, a devolved transport budget and new powers over skills.

Wendy Hague, RTPI East of England chair said: “Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are at the crossroads of the East of England. Both are net contributors to the UK economy but also face significant demographic pressures."

She noted that the mayor, as chair of the combined authority, will have powers to a create a non-statutory spatial framework, supplementary planning documents and mayoral development corporations or similar vehicles in rural areas to enhance delivery.

"A significant challenge will be how best to establish a sub-national transport body (STB) to ensure that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and its neighbouring areas, notably Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and the Cambridge-to-Oxford arc, can best work together to influence strategic national transport investment having regard to the development plans in these areas,” Hague said.

Mayoral elections will also take place in the Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, West of England, West Midlands and Tees Valley.

More information about the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal can be found here.

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