Minister speaks highly of Solent devolution

Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

City Labour MP slams budget for ‘failing Portsmouth’

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PLANS for a Solent Combined Authority received a boost as Greg Clark, secretary of state for communities and local government, showed his support at the LEP Network’s annual conference.

Mr Clark was the keynote speaker at the event for Local Enterprise Partnerships from across the country, and used the occasion to highlight the good work done on a Solent devolution deal.

Local councils in the Solent and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership have been working on a devolution deal with the government.

Cllr Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘I’m delighted Greg Clark has acknowledged all of our hard work and I’m grateful for his kind words.

‘The fact he is referencing our deal shows how seriously government is taking a Solent Combined Authority. I hope we can successfully conclude a devolution deal soon.’

The combined authority, headed by a directly elected mayor, would receive additional funding to invest in economic growth and housing.

The authority would only manage the new powers and funding granted by government and it would not take the place of any of the councils involved which would continue to operate as they currently do.