Seven things you need to know about Solent combined authority plan

View of Portsmouth
View of Portsmouth
Mutiny Festival brought over �2m to the local economy Picture: Paul Windsor

Mutiny Festival brings £2.7m into Portsmouth economy

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HERE are the seven key facts you need to know about the plan to roll out a Solent combined authority ruled by an elected mayor in Hampshire.

Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight council’s are consulting the public on plans for a new authority to be formed, which will gain extra powers and responsibilities from government.

And below are the key things residents should know:

1) It is worth £900m to our region. It is anticipated that government would give a combined authority £30m a year for the next 30 years to improve infrastructure, transport and housing, and provide training and skills and support for business.

2) It’s about local decision making at a local level. The UK has one of the most centralised systems of government in the world but this plan would move certain powers from Westminster so that locally elected officials can make a decision on them.

3) A combined authority doesn’t replace any of the existing councils. The three councils would still continue to operate as they do now but each would be a member of the new combined authority which is basically a vehicle for managing the new powers and responsibilities from government.

4) It could be led by a directly elected mayor who would chair a cabinet made up of the Leaders of the councils involved.

5) This could be just the start, once a combined authority is up and running, and can demonstrate its success to government, there could be further powers granted in future deals in areas such as health care.

6) With the support of residents and businesses a formal bid could be put to government in autumn and a combined may be in place as early as spring next year.

7) Residents can find out more about the plans at solentdeal.co.uk and have their say by completing the consultation survey which is open until September 18.