Benefit of partnership body is questioned

Mike Taylor, operations director at Society of St James with the leader of Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170729-3206)

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DEMANDS were made at a public meeting for villages to be taken out of a strategic partnership aimed at boosting the economy of south Hampshire.

Marge Harvey, the county councillor for Clanfield, Horndean and Rowlands Castle, questioned how the villages had benefitted from being in the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (Push).

Push was formed in 2003 and is made up of 12 local authorities. In East Hampshire only the area south of Butser Hill is included.

Gloria Igodaro, programme and information manager for Push, told the meeting in Horndean the partnership provided a united voice for south Hampshire when competing for government and European funding. It works with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, which is led by businesses to promote jobs.

The cost of being in the partnership to East Hampshire is £1,800 a year.

Cllr Harvey said: ‘Rowlands Castle does not fit the criteria of Push at all. It’s a village of less than 3,000 people.’

But Clanfield councillor Ken Moon said it brought millions of pounds of investment to the Portsmouth area, where many of his constituents work. He said: ‘Make no mistake, we are far better inside than out.’