Mark Whitehead 01 July 2016

Three councils push ahead with Solent combined authority proposal

Three councils push ahead with Solent combined authority proposal

Leaders of three Hampshire councils are assessing a review outlining plans for a new combined authority.

The say if it goes ahead, the plan involving Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council and Isle of Wight Council, as well as the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, could be worth an extra £30m a year of government funding.

The councils say the new Solent Combined Authority is the best solution for the region and would enable them focus on economic growth and public service reform.

The review will be considered by meetings of the three councils in the next three weeks.

Hampshire County Council has refused to back the proposal, arguing independent research shows a new unitary authority would be a better way of saving money and protecting public services.

Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: 'After months of working together, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight councils are now in a position to start formal consultation with the public about securing greater spending power and responsibility for the Solent area, subject to each council's formal approval.

'This would see the creation of a new combined authority with enhanced powers over roads, the skills agenda and housing delivery.'

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