James was the first Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and spent 14 years in local government. It was during his time as a leader and as Mayor that James became aware of the lack of investment into the east, in comparison to other regions and the lack of a strategic voice here.


During his time in politics, James was responsible for a number of key projects, including Ely Leisure Village, Peterborough University and Soham Railway Station. James also worked on the Ely Southern Bypass, the King’s Dyke Crossing and Cambridge South Station. James is passionate about adult education and transformed the service during his time as Mayor, concentrating on retraining opportunities for the low paid and those out of work. James supported businesses during the first lockdown, giving grants to allow them to invest and grow.


Outside politics, James began working life as a farmer and has run retail and development businesses. James has lived in the East of England all his life.

Image by Julien Riedel