Solent Devolution deal ‘still has a bright future’ says city council leader

Former Ukip councillor joins city Conservatives

PORTSMOUTH City Council’s leader has insisted the future remains bright for a planned Solent Devolution deal.

Donna Jones said councils in the area are hopeful Chancellor George Osborne will reveal the Solent as the latest region to be given devolved powers in Wednesday’s Budget announcement.

It comes after Hampshire County Council rejected the government’s calls that an elected mayor was vital if a deal was to be given the green light.

However, Cllr Jones insisted councils across Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Gosport, Fareham, Havant, Eastleigh, Southampton and East Hampshire had no issue with this.

She said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity for Portsmouth and the surrounding area – to improve our roads, create more jobs and protect local services.’

She added if the Solent was named in Mr Osborne’s budget, an extensive public consultation would take place before any final decision.