Combined authority plans to continue

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PLANS to create a Solent Combined Authority are still going ahead, despite the resignation of the leader and deputy leader of the Isle of Wight Council, according to Portsmouth’s leader.

The island’s leader Jonathan Bacon and deputy Steve Stubbings both quit yesterday, blaming government’s continued austerity-driven cuts.

However Portsmouth City Council’s leader Cllr Donna Jones said this would not harm plans for the Solent Combined Authority, which is hoping to gain more devolved powers from government.

She said: ‘Plans for a Solent Combined Authority are still ongoing and our application is being assessed by government. I’m disappointed to hear about Jonathan’s resignation as we worked closely on the combined authority plans.

‘Once a new leader is in place we will talk with them about the plans to ascertain their position and how work can be taken forward to meet our target of a March announcement for nearly £1bn of investment in the Solent region.’