Cambridge city deal

The Cambridge city deal is something I have been working on, with the Leaders of Cambridge and South Cambs District Council for some time.

It is an opportunity to share responsibility and provide strategic direction on a range of issues across Cambridge and its travel to  work area. The obvious subjects are planning, usually a City or District Council function and transport, usually a County Council Function.

But a city deal is much more important than that. It is an opportunity to take charge of skills funding to help shape training that our businesses need to thrive. It is also possible to retain taxation that would normally go straight to central government to re-invest back into growth and the economy.

The next stage is for us to negotiate, with central government, what a deal  might look like. There are no rules. It is up to us to put together a vision that is credible, stacks up for the economy and works for Cambridgeshire.

What a city deal is not is a back door unitary authority. The majority of the County Councils responsibility and spend is on adult social care and childrens services which is not included in a city deal and is unlikely to be.

The great news is that the three authorities already co-operate extremely well on planning already and  have joint planning committees in place.

It is expected that the governance board for the deal will be kept small to be effective and is likely to include university representation, the LEP, business and the three authorities.

A city deal could make a significant difference to  the local and national economy and must be supported by us all. Wish us luck.

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