Bid for Solent Devolution falters over mayor row

Plans to turn former Portsmouth GP practice into flats approved

0
Have your say

THE proposed Solent Devolution deal has faltered as the government insists an elected mayor is needed.

Hampshire County Council has advised the government that it is not prepared at this stage to progress with the deal.

Regrettably, at virtually the last minute, the government insisted that no deal would be possible without a directly elected mayor at its head.

Cllr Roy Perry

Council leader, Councillor Roy Perry, said: ‘We have worked extraordinarily hard and effectively as a partnership to develop a devolution deal for the whole of the county, in partnership with the government for many months.

‘That work was going very well and I was convinced we were offering a deal that would be good for the county as a whole.

‘Regrettably, at virtually the last minute, the government insisted that no deal would be possible without a directly-elected mayor at its head.

‘They have never offered a rational explanation for why that model must be imposed, against the will of the democratically-elected bodies in an area totally unsuited to a single person carrying so much individual power over different cities and areas.’

He added: ‘The government’s insistence has had the effect of splitting the county on the whole subject.’

As previously reported in The News, the plans for an elected mayor were thrown out last month.