New devolution authority holds first meeting

First meeting of the shadow authority for combined devolution at the Abax Stadium. Steve Count, chairman EMN-161214-145506009
First meeting of the shadow authority for combined devolution at the Abax Stadium. Steve Count, chairman EMN-161214-145506009

Leaders of the seven Cambridgeshire councils, including Fenland District Council, have met for the first time since a devolution deal for the county was agreed.

The ‘shadow combined authority’ – a precursor to a new combined authority which will begin next year – met in Peterborough earlier this month.

The first meeting saw Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and county councillor for March, unanimously approved as the chair of the shadow authority. He will be replaced by the county’s first elected mayor in May.

Paul Medd, chief executive of Fenland District Council, was also appointed as the interim chief executive of the authority.

The ‘shadow combined authority’ has been set up to drive forward the creation of the official Combined Authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The creation of the body was an important part of the devolution deal, which was agreed by all seven involved local authorities, and serves to ensure that democratically elected representatives of local communities are making decisions about how and where government money is spent.