The Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council are negotiating a deal with government to secure extra powers and funding for our area. The deal would give the region £900 million over the next 30 years to improve infrastructure, transport and housing, and provide training and skills and support for business. This will be £30m per year in new funding. The deal would also mean significant decision making powers and funding, currently held by central government, being passed down to our local area so we have more local control over local issues. The aim is to improve economic prosperity by bringing decision-making and accountability closer to local people and enabling funds to be spent on tackling local problems and taking advantage of local opportunities to improve economic growth.
How it would work
The three councils would continue to exist and operate independently, this would not involve creating one big council to control the whole area.
However we would need a way for the three councils to work much more closely together to manage these new funds and powers. Having reviewed the options for our area, and what Government expects, we believe the best way to achieve this is to establish a Solent Mayoral Combined Authority which would include the three unitary local authorities and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The Combined Authority would be led by a Directly Elected Mayor for the area who would work with the Leaders of the three councils and the LEP to manage the new powers and funding.
Our aim is to keep extra cost and bureaucracy to an absolute minimum. The Mayor is the only new political role that would be created and the majority of work for the combined authority would be carried out by officers working for the member councils. More information on the structure of the combined authority, including its relationship with neighbouring local authorities, is available here.