Cambridgeshire and Peterborough back £800m devolution deal

Steve Count Image copyright GCGP LEP
Image caption Interim leader of the combined authority, Steve Count, said it was a "significant moment"

A devolution deal which could see the transfer of £800m in public funds has been agreed.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council were the final two authorities to back the plans for the county and Peterborough.

It will see a combined authority with representatives from seven councils and the local enterprise partnership chaired by a directly elected mayor.

Interim leader Steve Count said it was a "significant moment".

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He said: "This decision... is absolutely huge for the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

"We are talking about £600m for infrastructure, £170m for housing, we're going to be able to decide locally what to do with skills funding and this give the people an opportunity to directly elect their mayor."

Cambridge City Council was the seventh and final authority to vote in favour of the deal at its full council meeting on Tuesday.

Analysis by Tom Barton, BBC Political Reporter

The new mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will have a big job in front of them - with significant powers and significant cash.

Millions to spend on housing and transport are designed to help Cambridgeshire's economy grow. That's also the point of new powers over training and public transport.

But before that can begin, there's the small matter of an election. Expect to hear lots from candidates and parties in the build-up to May 2017.

Seventy million pounds over five years has been ring-fenced to the city council for a Cambridge Housing Plan.

It will be spent on plans for more than 500 new council homes.

There will be a £100m affordable housing fund over five years across the combined authority area, and a new £20m annual fund for the next 30 years to support economic growth, development of local transport infrastructure and jobs.

​Arrangements to hold elections for a mayor in May will get under way alongside setting up a shadow combined authority.

Plans for devolution for Norfolk and Suffolk have been called off after West Norfolk council voted against them.

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