Anglian Water director takes on major role with Combined Authority

Alex Plant is new business board chair

New interim chief executive Gordon Mitchell (left) Mayor Dr Nik Johnson and (right) Alex Plant, new chair of the combined authority business board. - Credit: Archant

Anglian Water director Alex Plant is the new £24,000 a year chair of the business board of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA).  

It is the second major appointment by CAPCA in recent weeks following the recruitment of Gordon Mitchell as interim chief executive. 

Subject to “due diligence checks and an induction”, Mr Plant will be in post for the next business board meeting on September 12. 

He replaces Cambridgeshire businessman Austen Adams who resigned after an attempted coup to oust Mayor Johnson.  

Mr Adams added his name to a list that included four political leaders who had tabled a motion calling for Dr Johnson to suspend himself pending investigations into the running of the combined authority. 

Mr Plant is a familiar figure in the county, having once been executive director for economy, transport and environment at Cambridgeshire County Council 

He was also at one stage chief executive of Cambridgeshire Horizons (the body overseeing the plans for sustainable new communities in Cambridgeshire). 

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Mr Plant is Anglian Water’s strategy and regulation director and takes on this role in addition to his responsibilities there. 

He is currently taking forward the plans for new reservoir systems in the region to address water scarcity challenges. 

Mr Plant is a board member for Water Resources East, and chairs the Regional Productivity Forum for East Anglia. 

He said we faced “very significant challenges of climate change, the cost-of-living crisis and global instability”. 

He added: “I firmly believe that the private, public and third sectors must work ever more closely together to make the most of the opportunities we have and to mitigate risks. 

“The unique features of our open and innovative economy mean that delivering sustainable economic growth here is not just of local significance, but of national and international importance too.” 

Mr Plant believes it is vital to “make the most of the extraordinary talent we have in our area.  

“If we can do this, we can help to build a future where growth is sustainable and inclusive, the transition to net-zero is achieved, and we can successfully adapt to the impacts of climate change”.  

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said that Mr Plant’s focus and expertise on cooperative working across the private, public and third sectors will be important promoting investment, boosting jobs and improving skills.