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Will Cambridgeshire Mayor candidate Peter Dawe win your vote?

By Ben Comber

Peter Dawe.
Peter Dawe.

Candidates for the May 4th mayoral election tell the Cambridge Independent why people should vote for them.

Peter Dawe OBE, Entrepreneur, Independent

Why should people vote for you?

Local government needs rescuing! Government ministers, business leaders, electors and even some councillors see councils as the enemy, rather than the provider of community benefit. In my youth I worked at both Cambridge councils and for three years was a board member of East of England Development Agency. I have an understanding of the broken processes that stop councils working. There is no need for blaming anyone, but there is a need for someone to provide the leadership to radically change how local government operates. I am that leader! Over the last 30 years I have been a champion for a better Cambridgeshire, from successfully promoting Cambridge New Town, setting up homelessness and health projects to providing community radio and TV services. These are all done in partnership with ‘champions’ who own the project and can continue to deliver their benefits, even when my input is no longer needed.

Cambridge has £70m for new housing – how should this be spent?

My company, Resonance, a social capital company, has raised over £150m for St Mungos charity to buy houses for the homeless. In partnership, I believe we can treble that £70m to £210m. Rather than use that money to benefit a few lucky people, we should use the money to create a step-change in housebuilding that will result in rents for everyone falling. We will manufacture thousands of modular homes in Fenland and use them to create the dense, service-rich communities many people want. Using local authority-owned land and modular homes, we can lower housing costs for everyone

How would you approach working with the City Deal and Cambridgeshire County Council to improve transport/infrastructure?

We need a 21st-century transport system that is zero emissions, accident free, fast, comfortable and accessible to all. Last-century trains, buses, cars and bicycles cannot do this. Electric autonomous vehicles optimised for short, medium and long distance can. City Deal and the county council have to design the transition from the current failed systems to the system of the future.


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