Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority logo.jpg
Cambridgeshire UK locator map 2010.svg
Area covered by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
Term limits
Founded3 March 2017
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Structure.svg
Political groups
Directly elected mayor since 2017
Last election
4 May 2017
Next election
4 May 2021
Meeting place
The Incubator
Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority is a combined authority covering the ceremonial county of Cambridgeshire in the East of England. The authority was established on 3 March 2017. The authority is led by the directly elected Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with Conservative James Palmer winning the first elections in May 2017.


Plans for a combined authority covering the entirety of East Anglia, including Norfolk and Suffolk, were announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on 16 March 2016 as part of the 2016 United Kingdom budget, with the aim of creating an "Eastern Powerhouse" analogous to the government's Northern Powerhouse concept.[1] Norfolk and Suffolk had initially submitted separate devolution bids, but government ministers called for a joint bid including all three counties.[2][3] Initial proposals had been agreed by all county and district councils in the region, with the exception of Cambridge City Council.

The East Anglia devolution deal was subsequently rejected by Cambridgeshire County Council,[4] with Peterborough City Council also opposing the deal.[5] Plans for devolution in the region were split in June 2016, with one deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and a separate deal covering Norfolk and Suffolk.[6] The Norfolk and Suffolk devolution deal was later scrapped, after several district councils withdrew.[7][8]

The devolution deal was agreed by the constituent local councils in November 2016,[9] and the first meeting of the shadow combined authority was held in December 2016.[10] The draft statutory instrument required for formal establishment of the combined authority was laid in Parliament on 23 January, made on 2 March 2017, and came into force the following day.[11]


As part of the devolution deal, the responsibilities of the combined authority will include the following:[12][13][14]

  • A £600 million budget for local economic growth (£20 million over 30 years)
  • A £170 million budget for housing, including affordable and council housing, with £70 million specifically for housing in Cambridge
  • Transport infrastructure improvement and maintenance
  • Provision of skills training and apprenticeships
  • Integration of local health and social care resources
  • Integration of local employment services, and design of a National Work and Health Programme alongside the Department for Work and Pensions


The combined authority is chaired by a directly elected mayor. The first election was held on 4 May 2017 for a four-year term of office, with further elections in May 2021 and every fourth year thereafter.[11] The mayor's salary has been reported to be £70,000 a year.[15]


In addition to the elected mayor, the seven constituent local councils, Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council, Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council, each nominate one member of the combined authority. The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough local enterprise partnership also nominates a member. Substitute members are also nominated in case of absence. The following table lists the members represented at the first meeting of the shadow combined authority held on 14 December 2016.[16]

Name Position within nominating authority Nominating authority
James Palmer Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Direct election
Steve Count Leader of the Council Cambridgeshire County Council
John Holdich Leader of the Council Peterborough City Council
Lewis Herbert Leader of the Council Cambridge City Council
James Palmer Leader of the Council East Cambridgeshire District Council
John Clark Leader of the Council Fenland District Council
Robin Howe † Leader of the Council Huntingdonshire District Council
Bridget Smith Leader of the Council South Cambridgeshire District Council
Mark Reeve Chairman Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership

† Steve Count was chosen to be interim chairman of the authority at the first meeting of the shadow combined authority in December 2016. Following his resignation from the position in January 2017, Robin Howe was appointed to be interim chairman until the first elected mayor takes office on 8 May 2017.[17]

Bodies that hold observer status currently include the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority and the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner.[18]


  1. ^ "Budget 2016: 'Eastern Powerhouse' counties 'to get elected mayor'". BBC News. 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  2. ^ Annabelle Dickson (2015-12-09). "Call to bring Cambridgeshire alongside Suffolk and Norfolk in 'devolution revolution'". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  3. ^ Dan Grimmer (2016-02-26). "Leader plays down speculation Essex could join Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire devolution deal". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  4. ^ "Osborne's devolution plans hit by dissenting councils". Financial Times. 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  5. ^ Joel Lamy (2016-04-13). "Devolution between Peterborough and Cambridgeshire to be discussed after widespread city council opposition to East Anglian authority". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  6. ^ "East Anglia devolution: Proposal splits counties". BBC News. 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  7. ^ "Norfolk and Suffolk elected mayor plans scrapped". BBC News. 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  8. ^ Dan Grimmer (2016-11-18). "Recriminations start as devolution for Norfolk and Suffolk looks dead after King's Lynn councillors vote against deal". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  9. ^ "Cambridgeshire and Peterborough back £800m devolution deal". BBC News. 2016-11-23. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  10. ^ Josh Thomas (2016-12-16). "New combined authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough holds its first meeting". Cambridge News. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  11. ^ a b UK Parliament. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Order 2017 as made, from
  12. ^ "Devolution - A deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough". Peterborough City Council. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  13. ^ "Devolution for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough". Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  14. ^ "Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Devolution Deal Announced". Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership. 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  15. ^ Adrian Curtis (2016-11-22). "Cambridgeshire and Peterborough make devolution history". Cambridge Independent. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  16. ^ "SHADOW CAMBRIDGESHIRE & PETERBOROUGH COMBINED AUTHORITY: MINUTES". Cambridgeshire County Council. 2016-12-14. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  17. ^ Josh Thomas (2017-02-02). "Chairman of combined Cambridgeshire and Peterborough authority steps down after only two months". Cambridge News. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  18. ^ "PROGRESS UPDATE ON DEVOLUTION" (PDF). Cambridge City Council. Retrieved 2017-01-19.

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