Have your say on the future of our borough
It's a challenging time for public services. The amount of money that councils receive from central Government is reducing. Councils are limited in how they can respond as many decisions about how money is spent and how services are run are taken by central Government in London.
If you live in the borough you are served by at least two councils; Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire County Council. Eastleigh Borough Council provides services and facilities such as kerbside waste collections, parks and open spaces, leisure centres and theatres. The County Council provides services, such as education, roads, household waste recycling centres, libraries and social care. You may also receive some services from town or parish councils.
Here in Eastleigh we have striven hard to keep the services you need, at a price you can afford, whilst reducing council tax in real terms every year for thirteen years.
We know too, that public services need to change to survive. That’s why we have been working on ways to further improve joined-up working in our local areas, with more opportunities to provide access to services through our website and, in the future, through social media.
And we need to work with our neighbours too. That’s why we are exploring more joint working with South Hampshire councils to bring in major investment to improve our road network, to reduce congestion, to invest in skills and jobs, and to create a South Hampshire greenbelt. It’s part of the government’s plans for “devolution”.
At the same time, Hampshire County Council has launched a consultation on proposals to centralise decision-making in Winchester, which could see the end of local Borough and District Councils.
Your Council has been working with other councils to secure a ‘devolution deal’ from central government.
Devolution is the name given to the process of passing down powers and funding from central government to local government bodies. 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.
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 including Eastleigh, 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.
Some of the key benefits that Devolution can provide include:
- Securing around £30million of additional local investment each year
- Secure new powers from government so communities have more say
- More effective and efficient services for residents, meeting their particular local requirements
- Boosting economic growth in the local area through creating new jobs
Your Council supports powers being transferred closer to local people from government to improve efficiency and accountability for public services; and firmly supports the Combined Authority approach as 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 the Council would urge the County to support and join Combined Authorities covering the County Council area.