Future of £900m Solent ‘cabinet’ deal depending on key Isle of Wight decision

8/5/2015 (PM)

The Local Election for Portsmouth taking place at Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday.

Pictured is: David Williams, Portsmouth City Council chief executive.

Picture: Sarah Standing (150825-7958) PPP-150805-201329001
8/5/2015 (PM) The Local Election for Portsmouth taking place at Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday. Pictured is: David Williams, Portsmouth City Council chief executive. Picture: Sarah Standing (150825-7958) PPP-150805-201329001
Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon speaking on board HMS Queen Elizabeth as the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier sets sail from Lossiemouth for the latest in a series of sea trials on Monday, July 24. Picture: PO PHOT Ray Jones/MoD/PA Wire

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A £900m deal for a ‘Solent cabinet’ could be scrapped if a key council declines to join.

That’s the view of David Williams, the Chief Executive for Portsmouth City Council who said that a prospective Solent Combined Authority depends on the Isle of Wight Council joining.

Both Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council have agreed to join, however, councillors on the island rejected the option to join at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

Although, the final decision lies with the council executive, who will make that call in a meeting on Monday.

Mr Williams, speaking at a meeting of the East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum last night, said: ‘All the noises we’ve been hearing from the Government is that it’s the two cities and the island or nothing.

‘It will be interesting to see what the Government has to say if the Isle of Wight declines to join.’

Councillor Luke Stubbs, deputy leader of Portsmouth’s local authority said: ‘We do think this is a good deal and if we do not get it that we will be right at the back of the queue. We will not get this kind of deal again.’

The deal includes a directly elected mayor which would start on a rotational basis.