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Hitch for Cambridge road user charge plan

Cambridgeshire County Council’s decision to set up a commission to explore a congestion charge in Cambridge hit a bureaucratic wall last week.

It emerged that the move may have been "undemocratic".

The commission was expected to get up and running next month after the council announced that it had agreed "in principle" to set up the committee subject to approval of the council’s cabinet (News last
week).

But Cambridgeshire’s Conservative leadership has fallen foul of the county’s environment and community scrutiny committee which has voiced concerns that the decision to set up a congestion charging commission could be undemocratic. The scrutiny committee is a cross party group that reviews council business to ensure that proper procedures have been followed.

It is understood to be unhappy that the council issued a press
release in July which appeared to say that the decision to set up a
commission had been made.

The press release followed publication of a poll of Cambridge residents
showing strong local opposition to a congestion charge.

"They are concerned about what the press release said and how the
message was conveyed and the legal powers under which this
commission has been set up," said Cambridgeshire County Council’s director of sustainable infrastructure Graham Hughes.

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