Portsmouth and Southampton mayor: how it would work

HERE is a comprehensive guide to how the role of a mayor serving Hampshire including Portsmouth and Southampton would work.

Monday, 14th March 2016, 10:51 am
Updated Monday, 14th March 2016, 10:54 am
26/1/2016 (KB) Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones. Picture: Sarah Standing (160153-9735C) PPP-160216-144928001

Firstly, the position would need to go before a public vote. Candidates will be put up to run for the position and an election is set to take place in 2017, should the deal be approved by chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday in his Budget speech.

The mayor would be given a pot of cash from the government to spend on a range of matters concerning the Solent area, stretching from Eastleigh across to Petersfield, under an umbrella called the Solent Combined Authority.

They would be responsible for setting out a strategy to improve roads running in out of urban areas, control housing numbers and how to attract more businesses to the region to boost jobs and prospects.

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The mayor’s plan would need the approval of a panel which local council leaders would sit on.

The panel - which would be made up of Portsmouth, Southampton, Fareham, Gosport and Havant representatives - would have the power to veto any proposals they are not happy with.

The reason the government wants to appoint directly elected mayors to serve a body of councils across the country is because there have been calls since the Scottish referendum for local authorities to have more powers over things that happen locally.

Currently, a large amount of money spent on health, transport, housing and education is controlled by ministers in Whitehall.