Mayor Palmer bags himself a parking space - and offices - as he sets up at East Cambs Council HQ, The Grange, in Ely

Mayor James Palmer

Mayor James Palmer - Credit: Archant

Mayor James Palmer has bagged himself his own parking space at his new HQ – inside East Cambs offices The Grange in Ely – but only two of his team will also be able to park there.

Details of arrangements for accommodating the newly elected £75,000 mayor have been revealed in a Freedom of Information put to the district council by a local resident.

The response reveals that some of the other staff working there may suffer slight inconveniences but can use the “car blocking scheme”.

The FoI explains that this is whereby the council’s own staff can “double park and block another member of staff in so we are able to accommodate the three spaces this way.

“With respect to visitors, we have visitor space in front of The Grange which is currently maximum 30 minutes (due to change August 22 to one hour) which is unaffected by these new arrangements”.

The combined authority is being charged “a commercial rent for the parking spaces comparable to those being charged elsewhere in Ely”.

The council has rented out three spaces in total to the combined authority.

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The responses have been compiled by Emma Grima, commercial director at East Cambs, who adds that “spaces for visitors beyond the barrier at The Grange are not available without prior authorisation; this has always been the case”.

Ms Grima reveals that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority including the mayor have rented three offices and one desk space from the district council.

It represents around 2.5 per cent of the total office space.

The council is providing PA support to the mayor but “is wholly recharged to the combined authority”.

The council’s democratic services manager has been appointed the deputy monitoring officer for the combined authority – the additional allowance is wholly met by the combined authority.

The FoI response reveals that the combined authority is being a commercial rent “that is comparable to the rents being charged at the eSpace business centres”.

The combined authority has been made aware that should it require the services of any East Cambs personnel that this will be secured through a service level agreement “that would clearly set out the terms of the services being provided and paid for”.

Mayor Palmer is of course on home territory at The Grange – prior to winning the mayoralty he was leader of East Cambs Council.