Mayor Palmer hits the ground running with ‘first 100 days’ strategy to boost Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

New mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer (top left) with his cabinet. Top row Cllr

New mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer (top left) with his cabinet. Top row Cllr Robin Howe and top right: Cllr John Holdich. Middle row: Cllr Steven Count and Cllr Peter Topping . Bottom row: Cllr Lewis Herbert and Cllr Charles Roberts with Cllr John Clark, bottom right. - Credit: Archant

He sees it very much as hitting the ground running and so just six days after becoming Cambridgeshire’s new directly elected mayor, James Palmer has delivered his plans for his first 100 days in office.

He also found time – at a brief conference in Cambridge – to announce that Cllr Robin Howe from Huntingdon and Cllr John Holdich from Peterborough would be deputy mayors.

Mayor Palmer also announced a series of transport, infrastructure, housing and economic improvements proposals.

And he confirmed the roles local council leaders would play in his cabinet and their individual portfolio responsibilities.

Key to his pledges is the aim of delivering affordable housing and a new investment fund to stimulate building is under way.

‘The aim is to get as much affordable housing as we can on each development,” he said. “We’ve got leverage money here.”

Mayor Palmer said it was not his job to tell councils where they should build these new homes but simply to ensure they delivered as many as possible.

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His 100 day action plan included:

1: Commission business cases for the dualling of the A47 and upgrading of the A10. 2: Launch feasibility studies for the Light Rail and Underground for Cambridge, and the extension of the M11 to the A47.

3: Work with the National Infrastructure Commission to promote investment into the Cambridge – Oxford Arc, including the A428.

4: Work with Network Rail to advance strategic rail priorities for our area.

5: Announce the first tranche of funding for priority transport and infrastructure schemes.

6: Commission a feasibility study together with the Local Enterprise Partnership to assess the infrastructure requirements needed to unlock Wisbech Garden Town.

7: Hold a Future of Transport Conference to start to develop a bold regional vision.

8: Publish the first Local Transport Plan for the Combined Authority area.

9: Engage with major delivery partners to boost digital connectivity.

10: Announce the next phase and funding for the University of Peterborough.

11: Launch plans for a new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Apprenticeship Hub. 12: Develop a scheme to provide skills to support 2000 people on Universal Credit into higher skilled health and care jobs.

13: Deliver over 500 apprenticeships to small and medium enterprises.

14: An employment and skills summit for major employers in the area.

15: Meet with schools, colleges, and Ofsted to consider a flagship ‘Into Apprenticeships’ policy’.

16: Announce the first wave of new affordable housing schemes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

17: Commence consultation on a Mayoral Housing Fund that enables small and Medium Enterprise builders to develop and grow.

18: Commission a feasibility study to consider how off-site construction methods can be used to speed up housing delivery.

19: Launch the development of a strategy to accelerate delivery of 100,000 new homes across our area.

20: Promote Community Land Trusts across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

21: Lead a ‘Building for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Conference’ for housing developers, builders and housing providers to discuss key issues for this sector including workforce capacity and skills.

22: Develop a Masterplan for St Neots including the infrastructure needed to support its growth.

23: Commission work to develop a plan for the sustained economic growth of Greater Peterborough and Greater Cambridge.

24: Work alongside the Local Enterprise Partnership to develop a plan for inward investment post Brexit.

25: Establish an independent Economic Commission to shape future growth and increase productivity.

26: Launch the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Investment Fund.

27: Publish the Investment Strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

28: Bring forward the first series of Combined Authority investments for delivery

29: Commission the Non Statutory Spatial Plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

30: Form a Land Commission mapping local and national assets within our area.

31: Engage with utilities providers to support the development of the Non Statutory Spatial Plan.

32: Map the needs of our communities so that strategic plans tackle disadvantage throughout our area.