National and Devolved Politics

24.10.16

City leader still ‘confident’ despite Solent deal being on the rocks

The leader of Southampton City Council  says he is still confident that plans for a combined authority and Solent devolution will go ahead, as the Isle of Wight council executive decides whether to support it today (24 October).

However, their decision was made harder after the full council voted against plans to join the combined authority on 19 October, with 16 votes in favour, 17 against and two abstaining.

The proposed authority would see the Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) take on responsibility for some services currently managed by central government and receive £900m of new funding over the next 30 years. Earlier this year, Hampshire County Council refused to join the authority.

Portsmouth City Council voted in favour of the plans on 12 October, and Southampton followed on 19 October.

Cllr Simon Letts, leader of Southampton council, said he was “confident” the Isle of Wight would back the deal despite last week’s vote.

“We’ve successfully completed the latest stage of the process for creating a Solent Combined Authority,” he said. “Moving decision making powers and funding from central government to the local area is essential for us to deliver our ambitions to have more skilled and better paid jobs, more investment, a reduced welfare bill, improved transport integration, and more good quality new homes.

“I believe the combined authority will deliver real and positive change for the residents of Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.”

The rocky path

In a letter published on the ‘On The Wight’ website ahead of last week’s vote, Cllr Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, told Isle of Wight councillors that Hampshire still supported a Hampshire Isle of Wight combined authority.

He added that he thought the Solent deal would “not offer the best outcomes for those unitaries or the wider sub-region”. Cllr Perry said that he thought the “constrained mayor” in the new devolution deal would not “satisfy government expectations of that role”.

He also warned councillors that Hampshire County Council would “object strongly” if the three unitary authorities widened the proposed combined authority to include parts of Hampshire.

Following the vote, leader of the Isle of Wight Council Jonathan Bacon said: “It was very disappointing that a large number of those objecting to the proposal to remain in the process appeared to either have not read the papers, were misunderstanding them or were wilfully misrepresenting them.

“I was uncomfortable at the number of Conservative members who seemed to base their view on what Hampshire CC thought or how Hampshire CC might be affected.”

He added that the vote was “about staying at the table to see what sort of deal might be offered to us. It has been made clear time and time again that no final decision would or could be made until an actual Deal Offer is made and considered by Full Council”.

Cllr Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth council, said: “I am delighted that we have agreed to progress plans for a Solent Combined Authority, this is something that will deliver huge benefits for residents of Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.”

The Solent Combined Authority devolution deal is the latest to be thrown into doubt after Lincolnshire County Council voted against the Lincolnshire devolution deal last week.

The government also withdrew the North East devolution deal after it was rejected by four of the seven member councils, although the other three are now understood to be seeking a devolution deal on their own.

(Image: c. Alan Vincent)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Council to buy 70 modular homes for homeless families

15/07/2020Council to buy 70 modular homes for homeless families

Milton Keynes Council has unveiled plans (July 15) to purchase 70 modular homes to house homeless families is the area. The two-bedroom home... more >
Choose your winner for Council of the Month

15/07/2020Choose your winner for Council of the Month

Over the past few weeks, we have received over 140 nominations for Council of the Month, each with inspiring and heart-warming detail of Councils... more >
D2N2 LEP awards £6.4m for Regeneration Route

15/07/2020D2N2 LEP awards £6.4m for Regeneration Route

Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (D2N2 LEP) has awarded £6.4m from its Local Growth Fund Allocat... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been th... more > more last word articles >
Council to buy 70 modular homes for homeless families

15/07/2020Council to buy 70 modular homes for homeless families

Milton Keynes Council has unveiled plans (July 15) to purchase 70 modular homes to house homeless families is the area. The two-bedroom homes will temporarily house families in Fishermead, d... more >
Choose your winner for Council of the Month

15/07/2020Choose your winner for Council of the Month

Over the past few weeks, we have received over 140 nominations for Council of the Month, each with inspiring and heart-warming detail of Councils and Councillors working tirelessly for their loca... more >

the raven's daily blog

Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

23/06/2020Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

Evolution is crucial in any business and Public Sector Executive is no different. Long before Covid-19 even became a thought in the back of our minds, the team at PSE were looking at innovative ways to deliver its content to our audience in a more dynamic and responsive manner. We’re conscious to take the time to both prot... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News