Metro is off the cards says new mayor Dr Nik Johnson
- Credit: LDRS
New Labour regional mayor Dr Nik Johnson will start work this week with an in-depth review of which projects will go ahead and which will be axed following his stunning surprise election victory on Saturday.
Dr Johnson, from Great Gransden, has vowed to work with all political sides after turning the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority red in a deep sea of Conservative blue by unseating the Tory incumbent James Palmer from one of the region’s key political roles.
A metro scheme costing billions of pounds, backed by Mr Palmer, which would have brought a rapid transit passenger system to Huntingdonshire, will be scrapped by the new mayor.
Dr Johnson, a paediatrician at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and a Huntingdonshire district councillor, had been running behind Mr Palmer as the votes were counted but, overtook him when second preference votes were taken into account.
One of his first moves was to offer to help in deciding the future direction of Cambridgeshire County Council where the Conservatives lost overall control.
He told The Hunts Post: “My aim is to co-operate with all sides of the political spectrum to achieve the best for Greater Cambridgeshire. With Cambridgeshire County Council having no group in overall control I will be available to talk to all sides and parties so we can move forward.”
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Dr Johnson said he would stand by his election pledge of “compassion, co-operation and community” in a bid to bring inclusivity to regional politics. He will be in touch with top government officials to make it clear that the region should not lose out as a result of his victory in a role which the Tories were expected to win - and will point out that any action against him would harm Conservative voters.
He is also expected to talk to other regional mayors.
Dr Johnson will be a full-time mayor but plans to continue his medical work on a part-time basis, with a number of MP doctors setting a precedent.
He has assured staff at the Combined Authority over their jobs, but a question-mark hangs over a small number of political posts appointed by Mr Palmer.
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