East Cambridgeshire District Council becomes first authority to accept devolution plans
PUBLISHED: 14:32 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:32 17 November 2016
East Cambridgeshire District Council has voted to accept plans for devolution.
The plans were accepted in a full council meeting yesterday (November 16), meaning the council is the first to agree to the plans which would put power and funding into the hands of residents, rather than the Government.
Council leader James Palmer said: “I’m pleased that East Cambridgeshire District Council have decided to approve the devolution deal and start making a real difference to our communities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The devolution of powers from Central Government to a more local Combined Authority has significant advantages for the district. ”
Should other councils agree to become a member of a combined authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, East Cambridgeshire could benefit from transport infrastructure improvements such as the A14/A142 junction, upgrades to the A10 and the A47, the Ely North Junction as well as rail improvements, including a new train station at Soham.
Decisions by Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Peterborough City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council will follow.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Steve Count, chairman of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution partnership, said: “The decision by the East Cambridgeshire District Council to back the devolution deal is a step closer to putting powers and decisions over £600 million in funding into the hands of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities and away from Westminster.
“This deal, which has been described by Government as one of the best in the country, is just the first phase. Further phases could see us looking at further funding and powers that will directly improve the lives of our residents, create jobs and tackle deprivation.”