Ukip show support for creation of ‘super Hampshire authority’

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UKIP has thrown its support behind plans for a super Hampshire authority despite widespread concerns over the proposed restructure.

Stubbington Ukip councillor Chris Wood, pictured, says he is ‘absolutely delighted’ by the plans, which were recommended in a report into how Hampshire can deliver more streamlined services and save taxpayers money.

The county council supports the idea of its structure being replaced with a unitary authority, on the back of concerns it has over a Solent devolution deal.

Cllr Wood said: ‘Ukip has proposed this very measure twice since 2013 and it is only now that the leader of Hampshire is pressing ahead with the idea. I fully support his initiative.

‘Creating a single unitary authority for Hampshire, which could include the Isle of Wight and the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, is a fantastic way of streamlining services, reducing costs, cutting bureaucracy and increasing public representation.

‘The removal of the 700 borough and district councillors, as well as unnecessary chief executives and directors and the selling off of buildings which will no longer be required, could save the tax payer £40m a year according an independent report published by Deloitte.

‘The public often do not know which tier of local government is responsible for which service area, and even this varies according to which area of the county you live in.’