Dawe declares hand to become first East Anglia Mayor
Cambridge entrepreneur Peter Dawe is bidding to become the first Mayor of East Anglia.
The Government has proposed a tri-county devolution spearhead for the region featuring Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and Dawe says it needs an entrepreneur, not a politician, to steer the venture.
While the devolution strategy is currently just a proposal, Dawe believes that by declaring his intention immediately it will “encourage national and local government to get behind this exciting initiative and make it for real.”
Dawe said that after attending a business seminar on local devolution with several Cambridgeshire council leaders, “it became apparent that these leaders were only leaders of councillors, not leaders for a region. Their myopic, parochial interests were based on the past, and on keeping what powers they have, whilst carping about lack of money.
“At the event a number of business people approached me to ask if I'd be willing to stand. That convinced me that I should.”
Dawe believes the role needs someone who can find creative solutions to the problems facing the eastern counties. He said: “Traditional politics has become characterised by a set of people who talk about the problems and totally fail to address them. They have faced the major issues of social care, education, transport, housing etc. for years and have singularly failed to deliver.”
Over the last 30 years Dawe has created and delivered initiatives across the agenda at local, national and international levels. Dawe was one of the founders in 1986 of Unipalm – a software reseller in Cambridge, later forming PIPEX (in 1990) as the first commercial ISP in the UK.
In March 1994 Unipalm Group Plc floated on the London Stock Exchange to expand the growth of The Public I.P. Exchange Ltd (PIPEX). The company changed its trading name to Unipalm-Pipex in July 1995 and was sold to UUNet in November of that year for £150 million. Dawe also set up the Internet Watch Foundation, to protect the vulnerable from the excesses of the web.
Away from his many business interests he has been a consistent champion of the homeless and other socially neglected groups. He said: “All these have been done without the need for large government hand-outs and in the face of people and organisations who had a vested interest in maintaining the status-quo.
“I will stand on a platform of what can be done with the resources we have rather than doing nothing and complaining that nothing can be done because they need more tax income.” Dawe has pledged over the next 14 months to “offer major innovative solutions to many of the most pressing problems of East Anglia, including housing, transport and social care.”