Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s new mayor Nik Johnson will scrap £2bn metro project
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s new mayor Nik Johnson has confirmed he will not proceed with the £2bn Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro project.
Labour’s Nik Johnson told Cambridge Independent after his win: “I’m not going to proceed with it.”
Mr Johnson, an NHS children’s doctor, toppled Mr Palmer, who had been favourite to win and serve a second term, in the second round.
Dr Johnson earned a total of 113,994 votes after the two rounds, with Mr Palmer securing 108,195.
In his acceptance speech, he admitted the win was “a bit of a surprise”.
Speaking to the Cambridge Independent on his success, Dr Johnson said: “I think it is because I presented myself as a different voice in terms of local politics as somebody who thought the main focus of any policy was compassion, cooperation and community.”
And Dr Johnson was keen to point out that he will be working for the whole of the county, with an agenda of inclusively.
He said: “I want people to understand that Cambridge is not going to be the Combined Authority of Cambridge and Peterborough, it’s going to be greater Cambridgeshire. It’s going to be about inclusivity and the policies of compassion, cooperation and community. They’re going to be the heart of how I conduct myself and how I take policy forward. But I’m also going very, very keen to use public health and the green agenda going forward.”
Yesterday Labour retained control of Cambridge City Council and is hoping to form a coalition to seize power at Cambridgeshire County Council after results left it the authority with no overall control.
On the benefits of having Labour colleagues in charge, Dr Johnson said: “It will have huge benefits because I think it will make us understand the whole of Greater Cambridgeshire. We're going to have to work together.”
Dr Johnson added: “I think it's only going to be for the better of Great Cambridgeshire having somebody like myself at the front, who wants to cooperate, who wants to see communities thriving.
In contrast to the outgoing mayor James Palmer, who publicly fell out with the Greater Cambridge Partnership.
Dr Johnson said: “I don't like confrontation. I am an inclusive. I think I can work with anybody and I want to work with everybody.”
And when asked if he would continue his role as an NHS children’s doctor, he responded: “I have already had the benefit of conversations with my employer. And people know me as Dr Nik and I do not want to lose that link that I have through the NHS. My career has taught me every way to behave. “I would be looking at a small sessional work going forward. Basically it's going to be 24/7, 365 days a year.”
But Dr Johnson did offer praise to his predecessor and said Mr Palmer would “be by my side” at the opening of the University of Peterborough.
“As I was leaving, I said to James ‘I'll need your help’. I do want him to be by my side when we open the University of Peterborough because he deserves that acknowledgement that he bought into it and I will sing his praises for that.”
Don’t miss all the election analysis in the next issued of the Cambridge Independent