Cambridge 2040: Fantasy and hypocrisy from a failed Tory government

10 Jul 2023

The Times on Sunday’s reported Michael Gove has a “tightly guarded” plan to “turn Cambridge into Britain’s Silicon Valley with as many as 250,000 new homes built over next two decades” in a controversial “Cambridge 2040” vision was described by one official as “taking the local plan and putting it on steroids”.  

Responding to these reports, Cheney Payne (Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge) said:

“Firstly, it's absurd for Michael Gove to draw up plans for the next 17 years when he’ll be kicked out of government within the next 17 months.  It is clearly not a plan to provide Cambridge with what it needs; which is affordable, sustainable housing, with proper public transport infrastructure and community facilities at its heart. ”

“Gove has exposed the Conservative’s real view of Cambridge –  just another part of Britain that can be sold off to the highest bidder.” 

“It also flies in the face of local Tory MP Antony Browne’s repeated attacks on our Council’s current plans to build tens of thousands of new homes by 2040, which actually try to balance the need for homes with the need for proper infrastructure, a more secure water supply and improved biodiversity.  I think we’re all used to this kind of hypocrisy from the Tories by now”.

“San Francisco’s Silicon Valley is not what Cambridge needs.  There, wealth has been created for a select few, but it has also generated inequality, poverty and pollution. Cambridge can do much better.”

“We do not need to aspire to be somewhere else; Cambridge is already an inspiration for the world, with unique heritage and a world-leading science and tech sector.  We must build more homes:  the city is growing and we have a lot to contribute to the world over the next 20-years, but we need to build for our community, not despite them.”

“Liberal Democrat led Councils have built more homes over the last decades than the Conservatives have, but they have done this by putting people at the centre of urban design and planning. We know a lot of large companies want to be in Cambridge, and we know there is a huge potential for start-ups in our region.  This is important and the right way forward, but only if it raises the standard of living for everyone who wants to live here”.  

“If the Tory government wants to actually do something for Cambridge with their last few months in power then they need to solve our region’s water issues; build reservoirs, build pipelines and work with all parties to develop a long-term plan to support growth where it is needed.”