Institution of Civil Engineers throws weight behind Solent devolution bid

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BUSINESS experts have backed the creation of a Solent combined authority.

The Institution of Civil Engineers South East England believes the formation of a new super cabinet of leaders with control of government spending will speed up advances in the digital industry. The deal is being led by Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight councils.

ICE South East England director, Suzanne Moroney, said: ‘Devolution provides a great opportunity for combined authorities to change how we deliver projects.

‘With more localised decision making, we can be more joined up in our thinking – examining how changes to the road system might affect nearby flood defence schemes, for example.

‘The Solent region would benefit from the devolution of greater powers, but it is crucial that the new combined authority continues to invest in infrastructure, particularly digital, so that the region can continue to attract investment and skilled workers.’