Details of combined authority survey findings are released

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THE architects of a plan to create a Solent Combined Authority say they have received backing for the scheme.

More than 2,500 people took part in a public consultation and 71 per cent of those were in favour of moving power and funding for the economy, transport and jobs from central government to groups of local councils.

The same proportion supported the idea of the Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth and Southampton city councils and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership working closer together.

When asked about specific things a combined authority should get powers for, 75 per cent were in favour of more powers for support for businesses to grow, followed by 74 per cent of people backing extra powers for transport.

When asked about the best way to secure and manage new powers and funding, the majority agreed with having a combined authority headed by a directly elected mayor.

Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It is fantastic to know people back the principles behind our plans for a combined authority. The Solent Combined Authority would secure £30m a year every year for the next 30 years, so that’s £900m to spend on improving roads, helping create jobs and delivering good quality new homes.’

The number of responses was 2,531. The authority would cover a population of about 700,000.

The first full council meeting on the subject will be Portsmouth’s on Tuesday, with both Southampton and the Isle of Wight meetings on October 19.