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PROGRESS on plans to devolve power to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight councils has been welcomed.

Councillors at Hampshire County Council heard an update about the move, which would see local authorities given more control over decisions that affect residents and businesses.

County leader Cllr Roy Perry said there were hopes the government would make a devolution announcement in the new year.

Cllr Perry said: ‘Devolution would enable local decisions to be made on a local level, giving us more control on areas previously managed by central government.

‘In Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, there’s a firm commitment for a single, combined authority, where all partners are equal and working together at no extra cost to the taxpayer.

‘It’s not about replacing or changing the two-tier structure of local authorities in Hampshire – it’s about acting together to get the powers we need from government.’