Housing and devolution

(page under construction)

This page aims to set out some useful background ideas and documents about devolution in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Much of this comes from other websites and published documents. The sub-regional housing board thought it would be helpful to bring these all into one easy-to-find place.

If you have other information to contribute, or suggestions of useful documents to link, please get in touch! You can e-mail sue.beecroft@cambridge.gov.uk with your suggestions.

What is devolution?

Devolution is the granting of powers and funding from central government to local areas.

It enables decision-making and resources to be managed locally, and involves the creation of a new Combined Authority, chaired by an elected Mayor.

Devolution is a process which has gained momentum following the Scottish independence referendum and Greater Manchester's devolution agreement in November 2014.

In May 2015, the Government announced its intention to further support the English devolution process, through the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act which became law in January 2016.

Modified from this Cambridgeshire County Council page

Who is involved?

  • Cambridge City Council
  • Cambridgeshire County Council
  • East Cambridgeshire District Council
  • Fenland District Council
  • Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Huntingdonshire District Council
  • Peterborough City Council
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council

Modified from this Cambridgeshire County Council page (list is alphabetical)

Was there any consultation?

Yes, communities and businesses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were asked to have their say on the proposals. The results of this consultation were debated by Councils across the area and this has been shared with Government.

Around 4,000 people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough had their say.

You can find out more here (opens Cambridgeshire County Council page in a new tab) under the heading, Your views.

What proposal did we make to government?

The proposal to form a combined authority for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, submitted to Government, included:

  • A new £20million annual fund for the next 30 years (£600million) to support economic growth, development of local infrastructure and jobs.
  • £170 million for affordable housing, including £100 million for affordable, rent and shared ownership – particularly in response to housing issues in South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City. There is a proposed specific £70 million fund to meet housing needs in Cambridge which Cambridge City Council have indicated would be spent on new Council housing.
  • Supporting the delivery of the Wisbech Garden Town and the Wisbech-Cambridge rail connection.
  • Providing new homes across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough including affordable homes in Greater Cambridge.
  • Transport infrastructure improvements such as A14/A142 junction and upgrades to the A10 and the A47 as well as Ely North Junction. Also it would support development at Wyton and St Neots.
  • Rail improvements, including a new station at Soham, (new rolling stock, improved King’s Lynn, Cambridge, London rail)
  • Investment in a Peterborough University with degree-awarding powers.
  • A local integrated job service working alongside the Department of Work and Pensions.
  • Co-designing with Government a National Work and Health Programme focused on those with a health condition or disability, as well as the long-term employed.
  • To integrating local health and social care resources to provide better outcomes for residents.
  • Devolved skills and apprenticeship budget – to give more opportunities to our young people.
  • Working with Government to secure a Peterborough Enterprise Zone – attracting investment from business leading to more and better quality jobs for residents.
  • Working with Government on the continued regeneration of Peterborough City Centre.
  • This proposal to be the first in a series of proposals which devolve more funding and powers from Government to this area.

You can find the proposal document here (21 pages, opens in a new tab).

The decision to submit our proposal was made in November 2016. You can find the meeting papers of Cambridgeshire's full council meeting here.

The announcement

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority devolution deal on 16 March 2017. This will give Cambridgeshire and Peterborough:

  • new powers over transport, planning, skills
  • a £600 million investment fund over 30 years to grow the local economy
  • £170 million to deliver new homes

You can find the Communities and Local Government announcement on this page (opens in a new tab).

Election of a mayor

You can find the detailed results of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Mayoral election on the East Cambridgeshire website, here (opens in a new tab), where James Palmer was declared Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Mayor Palmer's commitments

In his first 100 days, the new Mayor has committed to:


  • Commission business cases for the dualling of the A47 and upgrading of the A10
  • Launch feasibility studies for the Light Rail and Underground for Cambridge, and the extension of the M11 to the A47
  • Work with the National Infrastructure Commission to promote investment into the Cambridge–Oxford Arc, including the A428
  • Work with Network Rail to advance strategic rail priorities for our area
  • Announce the first tranche of funding for priority transport and infrastructure schemes
  • Commission a feasibility study together with the Local Enterprise Partnership to assess the infrastructure requirements needed to unlock Wisbech Garden Town
  • Hold a Future of Transport Conference to start to develop a bold regional vision
  • Publish the first Local Transport Plan for the Combined Authority area
  • Engage with major delivery partners to boost digital connectivity


  • Announce the next phase and funding for the University of Peterborough
  • Launch plans for a new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Apprenticeship Hub
  • Develop a scheme to provide skills to support 2000 people on Universal Credit into higher skilled health and care jobs
  • Deliver over 500 apprenticeships to Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Host an Employment and Skills Summit – for major employers in the area
  • Meet with Schools, Colleges, and Ofsted to consider a flagship ‘Into Apprenticeships’ policy


  • Announce the first wave of new affordable housing schemes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Commence consultation on a Mayoral Housing Fund that enables Small and Medium Enterprise builders to develop and grow
  • Commission a feasibility study to consider how off-site construction methods can be used to speed up housing delivery
  • Launch the development of a strategy to accelerate delivery of 100,000 new homes across our area
  • Promote Community Land Trusts across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Lead a ‘Building for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Conference’ – for housing developers, builders and housing providers to discuss key issues for this sector including workforce capacity and skills


  • Develop a Masterplan for St Neots including the infrastructure needed to support its growth
  • Commission work to develop a plan for the sustained economic growth of Greater Peterborough and Greater Cambridge
  • Work alongside the Local Enterprise Partnership to develop a plan for inward investment post Brexit
  • Establish an independent Economic Commission to shape future growth and increase productivity


  • Launch the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Investment Fund
  • Publish the Investment Strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Bring forward the first series of Combined Authority investments for delivery


  • Commission the Non Statutory Spatial Plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Form a Land Commission mapping local and national assets within our area
  • Engage with utilities providers to support the development of the Non Statutory Spatial Plan
  • Map the needs of our communities so that strategic plans tackle disadvantage throughout our area

What are housing partners doing?

  • The sub-regional housing board (CRHB) gets an update on devolution at its meetings, you can find the meeting notes here.
  • There is an outline of programme work here, which sets out some key facts for each of the mayoral commitments (to be added if possible).
  • (Add notes on the NHF housing group here and possibly link to their meeting papers)
  • Other (to be added)

How can I keep up to date with progress?

This page will be kept updated with housing-related stories and news.