Doubt creeps in to 12 core combined authority projects including dualling of the A47 and the University of Peterborough

PUBLISHED: 17:18 28 February 2019

Last year Mayor Palmer met with Norfolk councillor Martin Wilby to discuss the A47 dualling. Picture: FACEBOOK

Last year Mayor Palmer met with Norfolk councillor Martin Wilby to discuss the A47 dualling. Picture: FACEBOOK

Archant

Combined authority board members cast grave doubts on funding for 12 core projects, including the A47 dualling and the University of Peterborough.

Funding for 12 core projects, including the A47 dualling and the University of Peterborough, planned by Metro Mayor James Palmer, has once again been called into question.

Board members at Wednesday’s (February 27) meeting of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA) called for solid evidence that funding will be available.

Chief financial officer Noel O’Neill said that board members had been given details of the combined authority’s 12 core planning projects.

But he said that looking at the budget for these in isolation did not give the full picture of whether the authority could ultimately afford to complete the projects.

He told the meeting: “What you have seen so far has been budgeted for 2018/19, and this is not the complete picture.

“At the last meeting you requested a full audit to approve a separate budget and business plan for 2018/19, but as we now move into 2019/20 we will be looking at these both together.

“If we continue to look at these 12 core projects as independent programmes then we will only see them in isolation, and what is needed is to consider them all together.

“Our next financial report in March will make things a lot clearer.”

Cllr Lewis Herbert, who was not convinced, said: “At our last meeting in January I expressed my disappointment with a report that had questionable accuracy of the predicted outcomes contained within it.

“I now have very serious concerns whether these 12 priority projects will have sufficient funding to keep them all going, especially the A47 dualling.

“I look at this latest report and everything has either been given a green or yellow ‘light’ next to it, indicating the project is running smoothly and that everything is okay.

“I want to know what criteria the project managers have used to determine what gets a green light?”

Paul Raynes, CAPCA director of strategy and assurance said: “Each of the project managers in charge of the 12 core programmes has been fully and properly trained in how to rate these items.”

The next financial report is due at the CAPCA board meeting on March 27.

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