About Cambridge City Council

The city of Cambridge is in the east of England, 50 miles north of London. A beautiful place to live and work, Cambridge is an historic University city and market town with high quality architecture and attractive open spaces. It is also a city of national importance, being a world leader in higher education and many 21st century industries – information technology, telecommunications and commercial research, particularly the biotechnology sector.

The population of Cambridge is over 131,799. This is forecast to increase to 151,800 in 2031 as a result of new developments. The council is working in partnership with other local councils and partner organisations to manage the planning for 47,500 new homes in the county. This has major implications for the way that the city council delivers its services in the future.

We have a clear vision to ensure our city is, ‘One Cambridge Fair for All’, in which economic dynamism and prosperity are combined with social justice and equality. We want Cambridge to be a great place to live, learn and work; and a city that prioritises environmental issues and cares for the planet.

The city council employs around 800 staff directly as well delivering services through others who are based in our shared services and arm’s length partnerships arrangements. As an Investors In People Employer we are committed to developing and supporting our staff through effective leadership and continuous improvement that supports the council’s vision.

The council’s turnover is c. £155 million each year. Increasing levels of partnership working, an ongoing drive for greater efficiency and a clear focus on good customer service mean that we are starting to develop new models for service delivery that will drive change and different ways of working.

Cambridge City Council is composed of 14 wards, with three councillors elected in each ward; making 42 city councillors in total. The current composition of the City Council is Labour (26 seats), Liberal Democrats (13), Independent (2) and Green (1).

The council has a number of shared services with other councils and we aim to build on these and develop new shared services in future.

  • We share Waste Services, Internal Audit, a Head of Finance and a Director of Planning and Economic Development with South Cambridgeshire Council.
  • We share CCTV with Huntingdonshire Council.
  • We share Building Control, Legal and ICT with South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Councils.

Vision, aims and objectives

The council has a clear vision to lead a united city, 'One Cambridge - fair for all', in which economic dynamism and prosperity are combined with social justice and equality.

Further information

For more information about the Council, please follow the links below:

Housing in Cambridge

Just under half of the City’s households are owner occupiers; and around a quarter to a third are estimated to be renting privately with a significant number living in Houses in Multiple Occupation. The council is the largest social landlord, with around 7,000 homes for rent, 1,000 leasehold and 80 shared ownership.

Need has been assessed, through our emerging Local Plan, for 14,000 new homes in Cambridge by 2031, with a further 19,500 in South Cambridgeshire, and the two districts, working in partnership, have already overseen significant housing growth across the two districts over recent years. A programme to build 500 new council homes is under way, funded through the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough devolution deal. Ensuring new high quality homes are available in a range of sizes types and tenures, promoting affordability, and creation of healthy, mixed, balanced and sustainable communities are key priorities for the council.

However, despite this growth, housing affordability continues to worsen. The average price of a home in Cambridge is now over £500,000, with the median house price to income ratio standing at 11.6, and the lower quartile ratio even higher at 15.6. Private rents in the City are some of the highest in the country. E.g. average rent on a two bedroom home is £267 per week, equating to over 50% of national median disposable incomes. Local Housing Allowance Rates are well below local rents, with the two bedroom rate set at just £144.96 pwk.

There are currently around 2,500 households on the council’s housing register. Homelessness is increasing locally, as nationally, and tackling rough sleeping also presents a major challenge, with cuts in welfare benefits making it increasingly difficult for people on low incomes to find appropriate housing and maintain tenancies. The council, with its partners, has a long track record in preventing homelessness and rough sleeping and supporting people to access and remain in settled accommodation.

As well as building new homes we continue to invest in and make best use of existing housing. Managing, maintaining and improving the council’s housing stock, funding adaptations and repairs for older and disabled people and those on low incomes, and working with landlords to improve management and conditions in the private rented sector are also high on the agenda.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority

We are made up of representatives from eight organisations. These are Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Peterborough City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and the Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP).

The Combined Authority is held to account by several committees made up of representatives from partner local authorities. The Authority is led by a Mayor James Palmer, who was elected on 5th May 2017.

The key ambitions for the Combined Authority include:

  • Doubling the size of the local economy
  • Accelerating house building rates to meet local and UK need
  • Delivering outstanding and much needed connectivity in terms of transport and digital links
  • Providing the UK’s most technically skilled workforce
  • Transforming public service delivery to be much more seamless and responsive to local need
  • Growing international recognition for our knowledge based economy
  • Improving the quality of life by tackling areas suffering from deprivation

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority is set to receive funding and powers from Central Government in a number of areas including:

  • £170 million to deliver new homes over a five-year period in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire which includes affordable, rented and shared ownership housing
  • £20million a year funding over 30 years to boost growth in the region
  • Responsibility for chairing a review of 16+ skills provision in the area

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