Heidi Allen MP launches surprise bid to become elected mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - or in her words 'minister for Cambs'

PUBLISHED: 11:28 05 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:47 05 December 2016

Heide Allen MP

Heide Allen MP

Archant

The battle to become the first directly elected mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough sprung a surprise candidate today when SE Cambs MP Heidi Allen entered the fray.

The MP said she would combine both roles and effectively become, in her own words, the “minister for Cambs”. She also pledged to give away the majority of the £70,000 mayor’s allowance to charity.

“Ministers have the same dual role- I see this as ‘minister for Cambs’” she said.

She added: “The position of mayor is not about party politics – it is about harnessing the wide range of skills, expertise and ideas that exist, regardless of political persuasion.

“It is about creating and protecting jobs, it’s about ensuring we have enough homes for people to live in and it’s about spending the budget in the best and most cost effective way.

“The role of mayor must always put the needs of the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough first.”

The MP said: “There is no doubt Cambridgeshire is a fantastic place to live and work, but it needs a strategic and joined up approach to deal with the challenges it faces.

“I am aware that although residents and businesses across the county recognise this, I also know many are worried this devolution deal will create another layer of bureaucracy.

“Because pressures on infrastructure and the affordability of housing are issues facing not only my constituency but the county as a whole, I believe I could offer the region a strong, coordinated voice.

She said: “As the Westminster representative for one of the highest growth areas in the devolution region, and being someone who has direct access to ministers and decision makers, I believe I am uniquely placed to fill the mayoral role. This is coupled with my experience in the public and private sectors, as well as managing multi-million pound budgets.”

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