Isle of Wight executive to make decision tonight on £900m Solent devolution deal

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

That is 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 signing up.

Tonight, the island’s council executive are meeting to make a decision less than a week after the full council rejected the option of joining the deal.

Both the Portsmouth authority and Southampton City Council have agreed to join.

Mr Williams, speaking at a meeting of the East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum on Thursday 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.’

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