Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor, Dr Nik Johnson’s statement following the Government’s Spring Budget on 15th March 2023
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor, Dr Nik Johnson’s statement following the Government’s Spring Budget on 15th March 2023.
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor, Dr Nik Johnson said: “My initial reaction is that while there is some welcome investment benefitting the region, there is a real missed opportunity to support greater, fairer and cleaner growth in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough benefitting both local communities and the national economy.
“On the one hand it is a frustrating budget. Frustrating because we have been excluded from the refocused Investment Zones policy and there was no mention of the funding for the much-needed scheme to unlock local rail capacity by upgrading infrastructure at Ely .
“However, I welcome the confirmation today that the government will announce the route for the new Bedford-Cambridge section of East West Rail in May this year. I am also looking forward to learning more about plans to increase funding for all areas in England with a devolution deal expand single funding settlements to all areas in England with a devolution deal.
“Despite our unique ability to create Investment Zones that reflect targeted investment in all five of the Government’s priority economic sectors, we have been overlooked for funding alongside other authorities in the East, South East and South West of England.
“This is a setback but the Investment Zones Policy Prospectus, published today, confirms the shortlist announced will be kept under review and therefore we will be making the case strongly for the inclusion of our region.
“In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough we have unrivalled potential in an area central to the country’s economic future and we look forward to working with government to understand how we can seize future opportunities around investment zones.
“This is an important step forward and we will be working to secure the capacity funding needed to ensure East West Rail enables the delivery of good growth in connected communities. It is also important that any announced route is sensitive to the needs of our local communities and I will also be looking at this aspect closely.
“I hope today is the first step on a journey to fully empower local leaders with the government committing to giving us the tools we need to drive change in our areas.
“The blueprint outlined in the trailblazer Mayoral Combined Authorities would be transformational for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and end the current short-term approach to funding our Combined Authority .
“Details on this are limited at this stage but I look forward to learning more from government about taking this forward.”