Metro Mayor Profile: James Palmer – Cambridgeshire & Peterborough


Category: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Mayoral Election 2017


James Palmer has been a councillor for East Soham in East Cambridgeshire for 10 years, and was leader of the district council from 2013 until now. His background is in farming and he used to run a dairy business. He was selected as the Conservative candidate by local party members, beating the favourite, Cllr Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.

James Palmer’s priority areas

  • Transport: developing a business case for an underground light railway in Cambridge, and extending the M11 from Cambridge up to Peterborough.

  • Housing planning: stopping urban sprawl and sharing all of the growth around the county. Only building on the green belt ‘in exceptional cases’.

  • Efficiency in local government: replicating the savings Palmer has made at East Cambridgeshire District Council to ensure that funding for public services is cut as little as possible.

Read about James Palmer’s priorities here


With the Conservatives taking control of Peterborough City Council last year and Cambridgeshire County Council on Friday, James Palmer’s election means they dominate the landscape. Most economic activity and growth is in Cambridge, and Palmer will need to shift the focus to Peterborough if the housing and transport pressures in the city are to be alleviated. Given that Labour control Cambridge City Council he may well find working with Peterborough City Council’s leaders easier too.

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