Councillor Kevin Price, Deputy Leader of Cambridge City Council and Labour's candidate for the May Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayoral elections, has said that the visit by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, was a missed opportunity to talk about the important issues facing the whole area including all the different councils and shouldn't have been used as a partisan party political event.
Councillor Price said: "On 4 May residents across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough will go the polls to choose a Mayor for the new Combined Authority and both the Mayor and Combined Authority will control high levels of funding and make key decisions about housing, transport infrastructure and skills. We know that many already have reservations about this whole new layer of government, and it will be up to the Mayor to convince them that it is bringing decision making back from Westminster and closer to their own communities."
"The Minister was there to sign the formal Devolution Deal papers with all the councils involved and instead of laying out what devolution could do for residents and convincing them it is the best way forward, Sajid Javid chose to make it a partisan event to openly endorse the Conservative candidate. This wasn't the time or place to launch the Tory candidate's election campaign for the May elections and it is a disservice to all Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents that it was used in that way. Given the very short notice of the visit, Cambridge City could not even be represented at the signing event. We need to have confidence that whoever is elected will be dealt with evenhandedly by the government as well as them working with leaders and councils of very different political make-ups on how to deliver real change for the communities we are there to serve."