The aim of the new Policy Group is to bring together those with experience of working with central and local government to hone Cambridge Ahead’s proposals in favour of sustainable growth and maintaining and enhancing quality of life in our area.

Policy Group Chair: Alex Plant, Regulation Director, Anglian Water

Alex became Regulation Director at Anglian Water in 2017, having spent two years leading on regulatory policy and market reform. Previously he worked as Director of Regulation at Royal Mail, Executive Director for Economy, Transport & Environment at Cambridgeshire County Council, and Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Horizons, driving forward the delivery of sustainable new communities in Cambridgeshire. Earlier in his career he worked at HM Treasury on productivity, competition and regulation policy, and at the Civil Aviation Authority as Head of Economic Policy & International Aviation.

Alex is also a Board Member for the independent urban policy think tank, the Centre for Cities.

Project Team Members

  • David Braben, CEO and Founder, and Chair of the CA Transport Group
  • The Hon. Matthew Bullock, Honorary Vice-Chair and Chair of the Growth Group of Cambridge Ahead and Master of St Edmunds College
  • Aaron Cohen-Gold, Public Affairs Manager (Regional) at University of Cambridge
  • Dr David Cleevely CBE, Chairman of Raspberry Pi and Honorary Vice-Chair of Cambridge Ahead
  • Mike Emmerich, Founding Director of Metro Dynamics Ltd.
  • Harriet Fear MBE, Chair of Cambridge Ahead, Director of Deyton Bell and Founder of Harriet Fear Associates
  • Jane Paterson-Todd, CEO of Cambridge Ahead
  • Ian Mather, Honorary Vice-Chair of Cambridge Ahead and former Chair 
  • Jonathan Oates, Corporate Affairs Director, MAG Stansted
  • Dan Thorp, Director of Policy and Programmes at Cambridge Ahead
  • Cambridge Ahead Project Chairs and external parties from local and national authorities and other organisations are regularly invited to attend Policy Group meetings to discuss relevant policy matters.

Cambridge Ahead:

  • Natasha Spinks, Project Manager
  • Sophie Thwaites, Team Secretary


The Policy Group has contributed to the East of England APPG Spending Review submission to Government, making the case for increased investment into this region and the role that Cambridge can play in supporting sustainable growth within the region.

Into the future...

The Policy Group is taking a lead in developing an effective framework for quality of life. Maintaining and enhancing quality of life is not a new idea but achieving it as part of a sustainable growth agenda is a hot topic for policy makers right now, with little consensus yet on the right answers. For us to know if we are making a positive impact on the quality of life of people in Greater Cambridge, we need to be able to translate what can be a nebulous concept into something more defined and measurable. This would allow us more readily to influence decision-making at a national and local level so that those decisions enhance rather than detract from quality of life for existing and new residents and workers. The Policy Group is working closely with others – like the Young Advisory Committee and the Centre for Cities – to develop this framework. Our next steps are to assess what metrics already exist, arrange some focus groups to understand what matters most to different groups, and to use that to inform a subsequent longtitudinal survey.

We also remain active in tracking the implementation of the CPIER recommendations, ensuring that the initial impact and momentum created when the Review was published is now maintained into delivery.

Latest Research & Publications

Over time we have built up an archive of useful research, publications and media articles – some our own and some from third parties – that serve as a useful resource for our Members, academics, business and other bodies and people interested in the future of Cambridge.


07761 511 766


Sarah Brereton, Director, Limewash
01223 813 557

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