Hampshire & IOW have published their prospectus for devolution. It has the support of all 15 local authorities, including the three councils in the unitary authorities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight. The prospectus has been submitted to central government for negotiation and details of decisions are expected as part of the Spending Review on 25 November. This document is the first step towards a devolution deal and the content of this proposal is not a concrete plan.
The main news is that HIOW is offering to forego Revenue Support Grants (and other government grants) in exchange for retention of 100% of local business rates. It also seeks greater control over council tax, without the need for referendum.
The prospectus sets out devolution proposals structured around four themes:
• business and skills
• housing delivery
• infrastructure investment
• public service transformation
Action Hampshire has prepared a briefing paper setting out the main headlines and drawing out in particular those issues likely to be of interest to the voluntary and community sector.