Five candidates with a combined wealth of experience delivering major projects, managing big budgets and with a record of exceptional leadership across business and the public sector, have been appointed as Non-Executive Directors of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) delivery company.
Their appointment was confirmed at the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Board on Wednesday (November 25). They will join the One CAM Limited Board chaired by renowned tunnel engineer Lord Robert Mair CBE.
The Mayoral Combined Authority agreed in August to establish the separate company to give the CAM the dedicated resource and expertise needed to deliver a project of its scale and scope. Other major infrastructure schemes, including East West Rail and Crossrail use similar delivery bodies. Mayor James Palmer hailed the appointments as a significant milestone in the establishment of One CAM Limited.
An interview panel chaired by Lord Mair interviewed the candidates for the five Non-Executive Director positions. The appointees are:
Terry Hill CBE, who is an experienced Non-Executive Chair and Director leading companies in the infrastructure, urban development and transport sectors. He chaired Arup Group for ten years.
He said: “The Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro attracts me because it combines innovation and flexibility from the outset. It has the vision and scale to address and meet the region’s ambition and challenges head on. More modest proposals would at best provide short-term relief and support for the region’s transport and economic plans. CAM leaps directly to a long-term solution. I want to help deliver this successfully.
“CAM builds on examples from leading cities elsewhere to create a new paradigm for urban transit systems; environmentally progressive, operationally autonomous and system-flexible – advanced technology for an advanced city.”
Ruby McGregor-Smith, Baroness McGregor Smith CBE, who is the President of the British Chambers of Commerce and former Chief Executive of MITIE Group PLC, the strategic outsourcing company. She is a member of the House of Lords, having been granted a Life Peerage in 2015.
She said: “The CAM is a visionary metro-style network which is hugely innovative and will really support economic growth is the region. I am excited about supporting the delivery of a landmark project of this scale.
Pam Alexander OBE, who has many years’ experience leading major programmes of housing and regeneration, infrastructure and planning. Her current roles include Chair of Commonplace, an online community engagement platform and Chair of the Planning Committee and a board member of the London Legacy Development Corporation, developing new neighbourhoods around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. She is a Non-Executive Director of the Connected Places Catapult, accelerating the use of new technologies to improve buildings, places and mobility.
She said: “I’m excited to be supporting this highly innovative transport concept, demonstrating what the future of mobility could look like for small cities and their regions nationally, and even globally. As well as delivering outstanding connectivity for the whole region, it aims to enable sustainable, environmentally sensitive growth to benefit generations to come. I look forward to helping to realise it.”
Jim Cohen, who spent nearly fifteen years with Balfour Beatty plc, from which he retired as a main board director. He is a member of the Investment Committee of DIF Capital Partners, an infrastructure fund manager based in the Netherlands which invests in infrastructure projects and renewable power in Europe, North and South America, and Australia.
He said: “I have known Cambridge since I was a small boy and we have lived here for the last ten years. We love it. I am also convinced that for Cambridge to realise its potential for growth, it needs to be linked to the wider region by a first class transport system which connects high standard affordable housing and excellent schools in a way that offers everyone an attractive quality of life. It’s about attracting and keeping a modern workforce and technical skills as much as science and industrial innovation, all in a way that still makes it a special place.”
Godric Smith CBE, whose career in communications has included ten years in Downing Street; he was the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman from 2001-2004.
He said: “This is a bold and imaginative long-term project that can be an engine of greater prosperity locally and nationally. I was born in Cambridge, still live here and am passionate about the city and the wider area and I look forward to playing a small part in helping realise this ambitious vision for the One CAM Metro.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, said:
“Our Non-Executive Directors will be a huge asset to One CAM Limited, and I’m delighted we have been able to attract such exceptional individuals. Their combined breadth of knowledge working across both private and public sector, and their experience of delivering major projects, will all be invaluable in their role guiding the CAM’s delivery. They bring with them not just that background, but also extensive industry networks which will be important as we build the CAM.
“Our region has a reputation for attracting the very brightest and best people, and we expect nothing less of the appointments we make to this delivery company. One CAM Limited is the harness through which we can bring in the right talent and skill to push this project to the next level. Accelerating its establishment has been a priority this autumn and these appointments are another leap towards it being able to assume its delivery role.
“The CAM will be vital in supporting our economy and is vital to the UK’s industrial future. It is a project of national significance. We make no apology for having an ambitious vision for our area and we are willing to invest in the best people and structures to deliver that. Our transport system will be a smart, zero carbon network, which will boost businesses, create local jobs, and support new housing built on green, sustainable principles.
“The benefits that will be realised by CAM will be many times the money invested, and will be felt for generations to come.”
The One CAM Limited Board requires a further Non-Executive Director and interviews will begin in January 2021 to fulfil the vacant role. The remuneration of £40,000 was discussed with the candidates during the recruitment process and is in line with payments to other non-executive directors as shown by the recent 2020 Non-Executive Director’s survey by the Quoted Companies Alliance.