Residents and businesses have until Tuesday 23 August 2016 to give their views on a proposed devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Seven councils and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership have joined together to ask Government for some powers, responsibilities and funding to be transferred from Central Government to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
This means a greater number of decisions on public services would be made locally, rather than nationally.
In the deal local people could have control over a new £600 million fund (£20million annually) to improve transport and infrastructure as well as £170 million to build more homes in the county.
The devolution deal could bring a number of benefits for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, including:
- A new £600 million fund (£20 million annually for the next 30 years) to support economic growth, development of local infrastructure and jobs.
- A new £100million housing fund to be invested over the next five years to build more homes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough including affordable, rent and shared ownership.
- A new £70million fund to be used to build more council rented homes in Cambridge over the next five years because house prices are so high in the city.
- Build on the case to develop the Wisbech-Cambridge rail connection and the Wisbech Garden Town.
- Transport infrastructure improvements such as the A14/A142 junction and upgrades to the A10 and the A47 as well as Ely North junction. It would also support infrastructure development which will unlock the housing potential at Wyton and the development of a new Master Plan for St Neots.
- Creating a transport plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that helps to coordinate road, rail and bus services.
- Rail improvements, including a new station at Soham, (new rolling stock, improved King’s Lynn, Cambridge, London rail).
- Investment in a Peterborough University with degree-awarding powers.
- Working with Government to secure a Peterborough Enterprise Zone – attracting investment from businesses, leading to more and better quality jobs for residents.
In order to receive new funding and to make a greater number of decisions locally, Government says that a Combined Authority would need to be formed and a Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough would need to be elected by residents.
Residents are now being asked for their views on the devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Have your say on devolution
You can find out how to have your say on the devolution page.
The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership will be consulting with businesses. A telephone survey is also underway to make sure feedback is representative of residents across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
A Combined Authority is a partnership where councils join together to make collective decisions that affect a local area. A Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority would include a councillor from each of the local councils and a representative from the Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough proposal would mean forming a Combined Authority that would include the following organisations – Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridge City Council and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership.
All councils would retain their sovereignty and continue to deliver services for residents as they do currently – even if part of a Combined Authority.
Once the public consultation concludes, responses will be reviewed and each council will then have to formally agree the deal later this year. This means the Government could give final approval to a deal before the end of the year.