Lib Dem Rod Cantrill calls for the LEP chairman Mark Reeve to step aside from devolution committee pending investigation of claims by MP Steve Barclay
PUBLISHED: 10:47 11 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:47 11 March 2017
A candidate to become the first elected mayor of Cambridgeshire called for Mark Reeve, chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to step aside from involvement in devolution pending an inquiry.
Lib Dem Rod Cantrill – second favourite with bookies to become mayor- wants Mr Reeve, who is also chairman of Chalfont Construction of King’s Lynn, to withdraw temporarily from his role on the combined authority.
Mr Cantrill has written to Councillor Robin Howe, chairman of the combined authority, calling for an immediate investigation into allegations made by NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay over LEP governance, its role in key investments across East Anglia and potential conflicts of interest.
Mr Cantrill told Cllr Howe that the MP “has set out certain issues in a letter to the National Audit Office” seeking an investigation by them but he also wants an investigation to start locally by the combined authority.
He said the LEP currently has a voting position on the board of the combined authority but that this should be forfeited pending the outcome of an inquiry.
“The confidence of the public in the newly created combined authority is critical, particularly now at the start of its existence,” said Cllr Cantrill.
“ There is a material risk that this confidence will be eroded as a result of the issues relating to the LEP raised by Steve Barclay MP, unless that combined authority proactively acts to establish the facts.
“In the meantime, in the interests of good governance, I believe that it is important that the combined authority board member representing the LEP steps aside from their position until the matter has been resolved.”
Earlier this week the LEP insisted it would happily answer questions raised by the Government in response to the MP’s claims.
A spokesman for the LEP said: “The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP is compliant with the Government’s Assurance Framework. We would be happy to answer any further questions the National Audit Office or Government may have regarding the matters raised.”