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New chair appointed to Combined Authority Business Board


New chair appointed to Combined Authority Business Board

The newly appointed chair of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board has said collaborative working will be vital in addressing the major issues of climate change, the cost of living crisis and global instability.

At its meeting on Monday (July 11) the Business Board approved the recommendation to appoint Alex Plant, who is Anglian Water’s Strategy and Regulation Director and takes on this role in addition to his responsibilities there, following an open recruitment process.

Alex said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair of the Business Board for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. As we face up to the very significant challenges of climate change, the cost of living crisis and global instability, I firmly believe that the private, public and third sectors must work ever more closely together to make the most of the opportunities we have and to mitigate risks.

“The unique features of our open and innovative economy mean that delivering sustainable economic growth here is not just of local significance, but of national and international importance too. I very much look forward to working with the Mayor, the Combined Authority Board, the Business Board and wider stakeholders to help make the most of the extraordinary talent we have in our area. If we can do this, we can help to build a future where growth is sustainable and inclusive, the transition to net-zero is achieved, and we can successfully adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

At Anglian Water, Mr Plant has led on the organisation’s 25-year Strategic Direction Statement and its 5-year Business Plan, and is currently taking forward the plans for new reservoir systems in the region to address water scarcity challenges.

In addition to his role with Anglian Water, Mr Plant is a Board Member for Water Resources East, and chairs the Regional Productivity Forum for East Anglia.

Previously he has worked at HM Treasury, as Director of Regulation at Royal Mail, Executive Director for Economy, Transport & Environment at Cambridgeshire County Council, and Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Horizons (the body overseeing the plans for sustainable new communities in Cambridgeshire).

Mr Plant will formally take up the role after due diligence checks and an induction, which are set to take place before the next Business Board meeting on September 12.

Until then, Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Enterprise and Business Relations at University of Cambridge, continues in his role as Acting Chair following the resignation of Austen Adams in May 2022.

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson, who is also a member of the Business Board, said: “It’s great news that the Business Board has appointed someone as experienced and knowledgeable about the challenges and opportunities facing the region’s economy as Alex. His focus and expertise on cooperative working across the private, public and third sectors will be important in guiding investments into schemes that will help businesses, boost jobs and improve skills for everyone in the region.

“I’m looking forward to working with him in the spirit of collaboration with the Combined Authority Board as we work to deliver on a better future for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough set out in the Sustainable Growth Ambition Statement.”

Acting Chair of the Business Board Professor Andy Neely said: “I am delighted to welcome Alex Plant as the next Chair of the Business Board. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be a great addition to the Business Board.”

The Chair will serve for a two-year term, with a further term permitted upon a unanimous vote of the Business Board members.

The Business Board is the region’s Local Enterprise Partnership, responsible for strategic investments into the economy to promote growth, support and accelerate business and create jobs and opportunities for people.

Private sector members of the Board act in an independent capacity and are not representing their respective organisations.