Still time to have your say on devolution for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - the deadline for the on-line survey is midnight
- Credit: Archant
There is just under six hours to go on a poll asking the people of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire their views on the future of local government in this area.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council, which has been co-ordinating the public consultation in East Cambs and Fenland on devolution plans proposed by Central Government, confirmed that so far around 4,500 people have given their views.
The proposals will see the creation of a combined authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with a new elected mayor, similar to the role of the London mayor.
It would also allow more decisions on public service funding to be made locally.
The council spokesman said around 1,300 have already completed the on-line survey and this together with a Mori poll and responses from Peterborough residents puts the total at around 4,500.
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The total population for the area is around 800,000 but the spokesman said the response was ‘comparatively high’ when looking at the number of people who have taken part in the consultation elsewhere in the country.
“There has been 245 responses so far in Sheffield and 243 in Manchester. When we consult on the council’s budget we get around 600 responses,” he said.
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The on-line survey - which can be accessed via the council’s website at www.Cambridgeshire.gov.uk/devolutionsurvey is open until midnight tonight.
The results of the poll will not been known for a number weeks, and will have to go to the Secretary of State as part of the next step.
In the new deal local people could have control over a new £600 million fund (£20million annual fund) to improve transport and infrastructure as well as £170 million for housing.
The councils believe that a devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough would be an opportunity to boost jobs, transport and affordable homes across the county.
It is proposed to form a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority chaired by a directly elected mayor. The deal could bring about the following benefits for the area, including:
•A new £20million annual fund for the next 30 years (£600million) to support economic growth, development of local infrastructure and jobs.
•A new £100million housing fund to be invested over the next five years to build more homes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough including affordable, rent and shared ownership.
•A new £70million fund to be used to build more council rented homes in Cambridge over the next five years because house prices are so high in the city.
•Build on the case to develop the Wisbech Garden Town and the Wisbech-Cambridge rail connection.
•Providing new homes across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough including affordable homes in Greater Cambridge.
•Transport infrastructure improvements such as the A14/A142 junction and upgrades to the A10 and the A47 as well as Ely North junction. It would also support infrastructure development which will unlock the housing potential at Wyton and the development of a new Master Plan for St Neots
•Rail improvements, including a new station at Soham, (new rolling stock, improved King’s Lynn, Cambridge, London rail).
•Investment in a Peterborough University with degree-awarding powers.
•A local integrated job service working alongside the Department for Work and Pensions.
•Co-designing with Government a National Work and Health Programme focussed on those with a health condition or disability, as well as the long-term unemployed.
•Integrating local health and social care resources to provide better outcomes for residents.
•A devolved skills and apprenticeship budget to give more opportunities to our young people.
•Working with Government to secure a Peterborough Enterprise Zone – attracting investment from business, leading to more and better quality jobs for residents.
•Working with Government on the continued regeneration of Peterborough city centre.
This proposal is to be the first in a series of proposals which devolve more funding and powers from Government to this area.
A Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority would include a councillor from each of the local councils and the Local Enterprise Partnership.
In order to receive the funding and to make decisions more locally, Government requires that there is an elected mayor. This means local people will be given the chance to directly elect their choice to become Mayor, to chair and lead the Combined Authority.
There would also be checks and balances with representatives of the partner organisations making sure any decisions are made democratically. No powers will be taken away from councils without their consent.
The deal has been negotiated with Government by Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council, Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council and The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
For Peterborough residents visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/devolution to have your say.
Once the public consultation concludes, responses will be reviewed and each council will then have to formally agree the deal later this year. This means the Government could give final approval to a deal before the end of the year.