MP likens proposed directly elected mayor for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk to Nazi official

PUBLISHED: 10:05 14 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:05 14 April 2016

Conservative Sir Henry Bellingham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Conservative Sir Henry Bellingham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2015

An MP has likened the role of a proposed elected mayor for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk to a Nazi official.

North-West Norfolk Henry Bellingham has said he did not want his political sovereignty undermined by a “Gauleiter” - a term used to describe a chief official of a political district under Nazi control,

But the leader of South Norfolk council John Fuller, who is a supporter of the plans for devolution, said it was “wrong and unhelpful” to disparage the new valuable freedoms the new structure would bring in the context of 1930s Germany.

“The purpose of a combined authority under a mayor is not to dilute local sovereignty by taking away powers already exercised to local authorities or to MPs, but to enhance it by devolving to local people new functions that are currently exercised remotely by central government.

“I am yet to meet a person who disagrees that government giving us more money to pay for infrastructure to be delivered alongside the building of new homes or to give us powers to streamline bus and train ticketing is a bad idea. To disparage these new valuable freedoms to improve day-to-day life in our counties in the context of 1930’s Germany is wrong and unhelpful.”

In an interview in The Week on Norwich based Mustard TV Mr Bellingham said there should be a panel of leaders who would electea leader.

“What we don’t need is a really expensive, costly elected mayor with a fourth tier of local government.”

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