Consultation on devolution proposals

Cambridge City Council consulted residents on the government’s proposals for a new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal that would see powers and funding devolved from central government to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area.

Results of the consultation

The consultation was launched in July and finished in August.  It included a proportionally representative Ipsos MORI phone poll of 2,280 residents (across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough) as well as an online survey which 1,500 people completed, plus comments from business, community groups, parish councils and other organisations. 

The scale of the response has surpassed similar consultations in other devolution areas. In addition the Ipsos MOI poll results have a 95% confidence level.

Results from the consultation show that the majority of people support devolving powers from Government. This is especially true for putting decisions over areas such as transport, jobs, housing and skills into the hands of local people.

There was strong support for the proposed devolution deal and an elected Mayor in the MORI poll, where over twice the number of people supported a Mayor than opposed one. 

Equally the business community has voiced strong and clear support for devolution and for a mayor.

However those who responded via the online poll were less convinced about an elected Mayor, and there were concerns about the potential for the proposals to create additional bureaucracy.  

Next steps

The councils will need to consider whether any changes are needed to the governance scheme in the light of the consultation responses.  Final decisions on the proposals will be made by each council at their meetings of full Council in October.

Background

The deal covers the potential transfer of a wide range of resources and powers for infrastructure, housing, economic development, employment and skills from the government. To access the funding and to be able to make decisions more locally, the councils in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough would need to set up a new body called a Combined Authority and have an election for a directly elected Mayor to chair the Combined Authority.

The Leaders of all the councils in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and the Chair of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership would be members of the combined authority alongside the Mayor.  

All residents in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough would be able to vote to elect the Mayor.

The combined authority would not take powers away from the city council – the council would continue to have the same responsibilities. The new arrangements would be more like a local replacement for previous regional structures with powers coming down from the government.

Key advantages of the deal include a new £20 million annual fund for the next 30 years (£600 million) to support economic growth, development of local infrastructure and jobs and £100 million for affordable, rented and shared ownership across the area, particularly in response to affordable housing issues.

Cambridge will specifically benefit from a targeted grant of £70m for investment in affordable housing given the high level of house prices in the city.  The city council can use this grant to fund new council homes and would plan to deliver at least 500 using this money.

Once set up the new mayor and combined authority would work with government with the aim of having further powers devolved to them.

    Further information

    Rate this page