Page last updated at 28 September 2016 at 09:51
Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet strengthened its support for devolution and the move to Combined Authorities that could see services and budgets devolved to local government from central government.
Currently Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight Councils have launched a consultation on a Solent Combined Authority that could, in future, be open to south Hampshire districts to join.
The Solent Combined Authority would take on responsibility for services currently managed by central government. This will allow decisions to be made locally rather than in Westminster; with a focus on driving economic growth, improving infrastructure and transport links and delivering homes in the region.
The Council has already received over 600 responses from local residents to a questionnaire about how services should be delivered in the future. To date, around 85% of respondents are in favour of services being delivered locally and support securing more powers and funding from central government.
Council Leader Keith House said “This Council is serious about powers being transferred closer to local people from government and we believe that the Combined Authority approach is the best way of achieving this. The new authority would not replace any of the councils involved nor take over any of their existing powers; each of them would be an equal member and represented on its board which could be led by a directly elected mayor with very limited direct powers. The Combined Authority could bring nearly £1 billion of additional investment into infrastructure and public services for our area and I would urge the County to support and join Combined Authorities covering the County Council area.”
He added, “If the Combined Authority goes ahead, it could in the future choose to invite district councils to join it. In the event of this Council deciding it wished to do this, we would of course fully consult our local community first.”