In the December newsletter, Sarah Conboy, our Chair, reflects on the many positive changes in 2016 with many new members and existing members wanting to get involved in local activities. An update is also included on the Devolution Deal (see below).
As you will know the local District and County Councils covering Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have agreed the Devolution Deal. We will now have elections for a Mayor to lead it next May. In return for having a Mayor, the Government has promised an extra £20 million a year for the next 30 years to be spent in local infrastructure and an additional £170million for new Affordable homes.
The Lib Dems on all the constituent councils were clear that they felt the deal was flawed and that the additional layer of a new Combined Authority and an elected Mayor was unnecessary. The extra money sounds generous but when you allow for inflation over the next 30 years, deduct running costs and spread it over seven councils, it amounts to less than an extra 1% spending power. The set - up costs will be £1.5million, including a mayoral office and staff costing £881,000 per year.
The small additional budget that the Mayor will have will not help to reduce the cuts to public services that we continue to see. Instead we think that its time for a more radical reorganisation to abolish the current council structures for Peterborough, the districts and the county and replace them with two unitary authorities. Have a look at our website for our view on the future of local government www.huntslibdems.co.uk/localgovernmentfuture.
As we believe it would be better for us to have a Lib Dem Mayor, if we have to have one at all, we are in the process of selecting a candidate. You will received an invitation to the meeting where we will be making this decision and where you will have the opportunity to cast your vote: Friday 16th December 2016, 7:45pm at Milton Bowls Pavilion, Cambridge. If you are looking to lift share please contact Peter Downes (01480 509471) and we will try and put a group of you together.
Click HERE to see the newsletter