District council votes to back devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Councillor Robin Howe

Councillor Robin Howe - Credit: Archant

Councillors in Huntingdonshire have given their backing for plans for devolution in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

At a special meeting of Huntingdonshire District Council last night (Wednesday) members voted in favour of the deal, which has been acknowledged by the government as one of the most ambitious in the country.

Commenting on the decision, Councillor Robin Howe, leader of the council, said: “I’m pleased that Huntingdonshire District Council has 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 involved in the deal agree to the terms, a combined authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be set up, chaired by a new mayor.

The authority will have reasonability for transport, key roads, strategic planning and control of a £100million housing and infrastructure fund.

The mayor will also be given control of an additional £20million funding allocation for 30 years to boost growth.

But that’s not all, for if the devolution bid is successful, the government could give the county a further £70m million over five years to meet housing needs.

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According to Cllr Howe if the plan is given the green light the district will benefit from support for infrastructure development which will unlock the housing potential at Wyton and the development of a new master plan for St Neots

Earlier this month, the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough LEP voted in favour of the current proposals.

A meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council was due to take place this week but has been postponed until November 22 to allow councillors to fully consider the proposals by government.