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13 May 2015, 06:00
A new leisure centre, a railway station for Soham and a commitment to deliver more Community Land Trusts are all on the agenda for the returning Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council.
Following the election of a new District Council last week, Councillor James Palmer returns as Leader of the Council after the Conservative Party maintained control of the authority.
The Conservatives won 36 seats while two Liberal Democrat Councillors and one Independent were also elected.
Councillor James Palmer, said: "It is great privilege to have been returned as Leader of the District Council in last week's elections. The electorate voted on our strong recent record of delivering the services which people wanted while ensuring we made sure every penny of their Council Tax was well spent. We have been given the mandate to now go on and deliver on the promises we have made of the last few weeks and months.
"This will be a different Council for one very obvious reason. With such a large number of Councillors from one party dominating the Council Chamber - we know we have a very real challenge of allowing the voice of opposition to be heard. I am very clear that effective government comes from having your policies scrutinised and challenged effectively. This is why we are looking at ways in which we can ensure this lifeblood of democracy can be maintained.
"We have made very clear commitments to make sure East Cambridgeshire continues to be a fantastic place to live, work and enjoy. This includes delivering the infrastructure and facilities to ensure our district continues to be a really successful part of the East of England.
"We want to build a new leisure centre to benefit the whole of East Cambridgeshire; a railway station for Soham is essential to create additional transport centre for the district and we believe more Community Land Trusts will deliver the new homes which our residents need. It is through these priorities and other projects such as the Ely Bypass that we will bring the real sustainable growth we need to create a district where people and businesses want to be.
"This work will also involve supporting our local MPs - new and returning - to ensure they can be the voice of East Cambridgeshire at the heart of the new Government. We will be showing them through the commercial activities of the Council that we can be a beacon for a modern local authority as we find new ways of raising funds and demonstrating our ability to deliver.
"I am really looking forward to the next four years - there is lots to be done and major projects to deliver but I am determined East Cambridgeshire will grow and flourish as we achieve each milestone."