Agencies keen to explore combined Solent authority

Chairman of PUSH Cllr Sean Woodward has welcomed the idea of a combined authority
Chairman of PUSH Cllr Sean Woodward has welcomed the idea of a combined authority
HMS Duncan's Navigating Officer, Lieutenant Jen Cory
Photo: LPhot Paul Hall

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TWO agencies have written to the government saying they are keen to explore the idea of a combined authority in the Solent.

Leaders from the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have written to MP Greg Clark, the minister for Universities, Skills and Cities, to tell him that they are keen to explore the option of a combined authority for the Solent area.

They also asked for feedback on a government consultation that took place earlier in the year. It invited comments on the proposals to change legislation relating to combined authorities to allow greater flexibility around county and district boundaries.

The councils that are part of PUSH and the Solent LEP have been working closely together for over 13 years.

Chairman of PUSH, Councillor Sean Woodward said: ‘This is a great opportunity to deliver services and take control locally of current national budgets to enable economic improvement such as transport initiatives in the Solent area.

‘I hope the government is able to provide us with the information we need to drive forward this exciting and potentially productive initiative in the Solent area.’

PUSH in collaboration with the Solent LEP is hoping to hold a half day workshop early in 2015 to discuss the options further.

In the letter an invitation was extended to the most appropriate minister or a civil servant to attend the workshop as a key speaker and discuss combined authorities in more detail.