On Friday (4th September 2015), the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership added its support to a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Devolution Prospectus which seeks to devolve additional powers from Whitehall to the local area.
The prospectus, which has been submitted to Government as part of the 2015 Spending Review, focuses around four key themes: boosting business and skills for work; accelerating housing delivery; investing in infrastructure; and transforming public services.
Partners across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are committed to supporting the Government in their ambition to deliver devolution of power within England, providing local leaders more opportunity to drive efficiencies by bringing budgets and powers closer to the point of use.
It is hoped that a Devolution Deal will improve outcomes through giving local people greater influence over how services are delivered.
Any further devolution for the area will build on the progress made through the Solent Growth Deal which will see £151.9m invested in the Solent by 2021 to create up to 6,000 new jobs, enable 11,000 new homes to be built and generate £400m additional public and private investment.
Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP Chairman, said:
Devolution represents a fantastic opportunity for the local area to build on the progress we have made through our Solent Growth Deal and secure the resources and powers we need locally to increase productivity and growth. This prospectus represents the start of a process to agree a deal with Government.
As negotiations progress over the coming months, the LEP will be emphasising the need to ensure any deal works for our local businesses and supports the development of a highly skilled workforce, increases innovation through our Universities and business base, delivers additional housing, establishes a modern transport system and improves our digital infrastructure.
Hampshire County Council, Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth and Southampton City Council's and 11 district councils are working together on the devolution deal along with the Solent and Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnerships and New Forest and South Downs National Park Authorities.
A copy of the Prospectus which has been submitted is available for download here.