‘Council changes could affect countryside’

Police cordon off Portsmouth street over ‘suspicious package’

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A RURAL pressure group says local government reorganisation could affect the countryside.

The Campaign to Protect England has responded to Hampshire County Council’s consultation, Serving Hampshire. It says it does not believe reorganisation is necessary and considers that there should be fewer tiers of local government.

The group also says important aspects of rural Hampshire life receive little mention in the consultation document.

The county council’s favoured plan is to create a unitary authority for all of Hampshire. Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight councils have launched a rival plan for a Solent Combined Authority.

CPRE Hampshire spokesman Edward Dawson said: ‘We accept the idea of a southern Hampshire urban combined authority. To the north and including the New Forest, a “Heart of Hampshire” authority could cover the rural area and towns and villages that flourish there. The historic and ceremonial county of Hampshire should remain.’

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