Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Devolution UPDATE
A bid for devolution for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight was submitted to government last year.
Since then, there has been a series of meetings with government officials, ministers and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; the process being overseen by a Devolution Board, which includes all local authority leaders.
The situation is currently rather fluid. Last month the government made clear it would only pursue devolution bids which included an elected Mayor. That is not something most Hampshire and Isle of Wight councils wanted, and the bid was ‘paused’.
UPDATE 15 March
The BBC has reported that a deal has been reached for devolution in the Solent area. The deal encompasses Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and the councils of Isle of Wight, East Hampshire, Gosport, Fareham, Eastleigh, Havant and Portsmouth and Southampton. It is thought this area will become a combined authority with an elected mayor. Details are still very hazy and we hope more information will be released in the Budget tomorrow (16 March).
It is interesting that the Department for Communities and Local Government said devolution was “a bottom-up process”, and yet there has still not been a single public consultation on the issue.