1. ITV Report

Seven candidates standing to be the first Mayor of Cambridgeshire

Photo: PA

Seven people are fighting for votes in the race to be the first elected Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The post is a first in the Anglia region and the new so-called "Metro Mayor" will head a new devolved authority with additional powers over education and skills, transport, housing and planning along with health and social care.

The seven candidates are

  • Paul Bullen - UK Independence Party
  • Rod Cantrill - Liberal Democrat
  • Peter Dawe - Independent
  • Stephen Goldspink - English Democrats
  • Julie Howell - Green Party
  • James Palmer - Conservative
  • Kevin Price - Labour
The seven candidates are Paul Bullen, Rod Cantrill and Peter Dawe (top row) with Stephen Goldspink, Julie Howell, James Palmer and Kevin Price (bottom row)

The role partly mirrors that of the Mayor of London - a post currently held by Sadiq Khan but previously held by Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone.

Unlike the London position, which also has an elected assembly, the Cambridgeshire Devolved Authority is made up of members appointed from the seven county, district and city councils in the area.

The government says the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal will give new powers to control local services, bringing jobs and prosperity to the area.

Investment fund to spend in Cambridgeshire over 30 years
Affordable housing grant for Cambridgeshire
The new Mayor and Combined Authority covers five district and city councils in Cambridgeshire along with the City of Peterborough and Cambs County Council. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The new Mayor and Combined Authority will have a number of new powers and strategic priorities.

  • New planning and housing powers to manage planning across the region – this includes a £100 million Housing Investment Fund and an additional £70 million ring-fenced for Cambridge City to meet its housing needs
  • A devolved transport budget and transport powers to help provide a more modern, better-connected network
  • New powers over skills and in particular responsibility for the adult education budget in the region

Cambridgeshire is a county of contrasts with hi-tech, science and academically-led industries sitting alongside a traditional rural economy.

House prices can vary widely from area to area with Cambridge seeing some of the steepest housing costs in the entire country.

The average house price in Cambridge in January 2017 was £431,000 compared to £170,000 in Fenland.

Providing affordable home will be one of the priorities for the newly elected Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Elections are being held on Thursday 4 May with polling stations open from 7am until 10pm. The Supplementary Vote system will be used where voters choose their first and second preferences from the candidates.

If any candidate gets more than half the first preference votes they are automatically declared the winner. If not, the top two candidates go through to the second round where the second preference votes of the losing candidates are added into the first preference votes.

The Anglia region does have one other elected mayor in Bedford but that position runs a single local council alongside elected councillors.

The new Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with have a new devolved transport budget. Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Archive

Along with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor there will be newly-elected Metro Mayors in Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Tees Valley, the West Midlands and the West of England.

The original plan in the Anglia region was to have an elected Mayor of East Anglia covering the three counties of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

That deal could not be sealed so the government agreed to form two devolved Combined Authorities - one for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and the other for Norfolk and Suffolk. The Norfolk and Suffolk deal collapsed.

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