James Palmer was born and raised in Soham, Cambridgeshire. He has lived and worked in Cambridgeshire all his life.
In 2007 James was elected for the first time as a Conservative councillor on East Cambridgeshire District Council, representing the Soham North ward. He was re-elected in 2011 and was swiftly appointed Deputy Leader of the Council. In May 2013 he was elected Leader of the council. As leader for four years James developed a reputation for being a dynamic. Solutions were found for many of East Cambridgeshire’s key infrastructure challenges, challenges that were seen by many as being intractable.
Between 2009-2017 James also represented Soham and Fordham Villages on Cambridgeshire County Council.
Central to James’s vision as Mayor is connecting the north of the area he represents to the south in order to ensure that the socio-economic benefits associated with the rapid growth around Cambridge are spread across the whole of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. A prerequisite for ensuring that the Greater Cambridge phenomenon is truly sustainable.
Outside of politics James used to run a development company and also ran a dairy business.