MB James Palmer Cambridge Visit MB James Palmer Cambridge Visit


James Palmer is the current elected Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, it is a 4 year term and the next elections are scheduled for May 2021.


The role of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is to deliver economic prosperity across the region as laid out in the Devolution Deal, to make Cambridgeshire and Peterborough a leading place in the world to live, learn, work and do business.

The Mayor oversees a £20 million annual budget devolved from government, and also has devolved powers to spend up to £800 million on local housing, infrastructure and jobs.

£600 million has been allocated to the Combined Authority to improve infrastructure, £100 million will be set aside for new affordable housing, with an additional £70 million specifically for affordable housing in Cambridge itself. The budget for Adult Education has also now been devolved to the Mayor and the Combined Authority.

The Mayor is committed delivering the vision for the region:

  • Helping the region thrive by doubling the size of the economy by 2041
  • Providing world class transport and connectivity
  • Accelerating house building to meet local and national need with transformational schemes
  • Spreading prosperity across Fenland, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire and improving quality of life by tackling areas of deprivation
  • Providing the UK’s most technically skilled workforce
  • Improving the regions environment

The overall vision for the region is captured in a series of strategic documents, which you can find here.

You can see the Mayor’s 17 priorities here.


James Palmer was born and still lives in Soham, Cambridgeshire. He was state educated in Soham before studying at the Cambridgeshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture. He has been married for over 27 years and has two children.

James worked and then ran the family dairy business, deepening his strong sense of community and the needs of region.

He was first elected as East Cambridgeshire District Council for the Soham North ward in 2007, standing for the Conservative Party, and re-elected in 2011 and 2015. He was elected as a Cambridgeshire Country Councillor in 2009, becoming leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council from May 2013 until his election as Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in 2017.

James is a keen sports fan. He has a passion for grass roots sport and is a lifelong supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.

The Mayor's Team

John Holdich OBE Deputy Mayor

Cllr John Holdich is Leader of Peterborough City Council, Deputy Mayor (constitutional) & Portfolio Holder for Skills and Chair of the Skills Committee.

Key areas of responsibility include:

  • Skills Strategy: Employer focused skills system
  • Peterborough University
  • Apprenticeships and Pathways to Employment Scheme
  • Adult Education Devolution
  • Education Committee and coordination lead with Regional Schools Commissioner
  • Coordination with the Department for Education on the Opportunity Area programme
  • Centre for Skills (in conjunction with the Business Board)
  • The Skills Framework and Action Plan for Adult Education
  • Coordination with DWP and the Work & Health Programme
  • Innovation Fund and the Health and Care Sector Work Academy
  • 16+ Area Review outcomes
  • Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 to 24 years

Charles Roberts Chief Advisor

Charles Roberts is the Mayor’s Chief Advisor. Having lived in the Cambridgeshire region all his life, he is deeply embedded in the county and the issues that really affect the area.

Charles was previously leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council and deputy Mayor, and now provides locally-based advice and support for the Mayor.

He is passionate about community-led housing initiatives, and takes an active part in supporting and encouraging communities to take projects forward.

Ashton Cull Senior Political Advisor

As Senior Policy Advisor, Ashton provides political advice and support to the Mayor, particularly on strategy, engaging with government & regional partnerships and the ways in which our projects and deliveries relate to the national picture.

Educated in Cambridgeshire, and born just across the border, Ashton qualified as a Barrister after earning a degree in Politics & International Relations from the University of Manchester. He fell back into political work in 2014, and worked for various high profile MPs before joining the Mayor’s team in 2019. He likes being at the delivery end of the political industry, helping to bring in projects that spread opportunities and provide a tangible benefit to residents.

In his free time Ashton is a keen quiz participant and an amateur actor; he also enjoys spending time with his family and his delightful puppy Artemis, who has very much enjoyed Ashton working from home during the pandemic.


Latest News 22/01/2021
Adult Education Budget

Mayor and Business Board Chairman react to the Government’s Skills f…

Read More
Latest News 11/01/2021

Mayoral statement on closure of Debenhams warehouse in Peterborough

Read More
Latest News 07/01/2021

Mayor James Palmer backs An Hour to Skill campaign

Read More
Latest News 05/01/2021

Mayor’s statement on Covid vaccinations and the new national loc…

Read More
Skip to content