Date Published: 30-03-2016

A couple of weeks ago in the latest budget, George Osborne announced an East Anglian Devolution Deal – Dubbed the Eastern Powerhouse – which means that 22 out of the 23 boroughs in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire will be united under an elected mayor.

What does the deal mean?

The short story is extra money, but that money is designated for specific things.

The first part is an extra £30million a year for infrastructure in order to help transport and supply links within the region, with the aim of attracting more businesses here.

The second is £175million over 5 years to build new houses which are to mostly be shared ownership, yet another way to bring more people to the region.

Thirdly, there will be a regional public transport body covering the wider region… hopefully making getting around without a car more efficient!

And finally it would give the mayor local control over training and certain aspects of welfare.

This all seems great for the region as it could bring so many more businesses and families to the region and Norfolk & Suffolk are on board so…

Why have Cambridge City & Cambridgeshire County Councils rejected it?

At this point, it doesn’t mean they’re totally out as the government are trying to emphasise to them why it’s a good idea, but right now they’re not supporters of it.

They worry that the councils themselves won’t have enough power and that the size of the area covered is too large to be managed as a whole rather than individually.

There are also concerns over the costs involved and the lack of support from businesses in the region, wondering whether it’s actually worthwhile considering that Norfolk & Suffolk have few economic links with Cambridge and Cambridgeshire.

What will happen if Cambridge & Cambridgeshire don’t sign up?

Presumably, the devolution deal will still go ahead but it’s likely that the funding and the deal will change slightly to reflect the smaller area involved.

So what do you think of the Eastern Powerhouse Devolution Deal? Good for businesses in East Anglia or bad? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!