Steve Brine visited the University of Winchester on Thursday 20th November for the launch of the Southern Policy Centre.
The MP joined a cast of local business leaders, representatives of the Third Sector and important media figures, as well as MPs from across the south at the launch, which heard from a number of speakers, including Cabinet Minister for Cities, Universities and Science, Greg Barker MP, and Lord Adonis, shadow Minister for Infrastructure.
The Southern Policy Centre is the new think tank and policy forum for central southern England and will focus on the area from Dorset to West Sussex, and the Isle of Wight to Oxfordshire.
The region has had little public policy focus despite facing challenges distinct from both the metropolis and other English regions, and our public spending per head is low, though we face the triple costs of deprived urban areas, rurality and an ageing population.
The Southern Policy Centre will analyse the data, work with stakeholders and shape policy proposals, and will be a focal point for the discussion of current issues.
The think-tank will promote innovative methods of public engagement and empowerment such as deliberative polling and web-based dialogue and consultation to enhance public policy making. It has a broad based advisory committee including members of all the major Westminster parties, as well as business, local authority, public service, university and voluntary sector partners.
Steve Brine said: "This is very much the brainchild of John Denham and I'm pleased to support cross-party this no-brainer of an ideas. MPs from the South do work together on major issues such as the Port in Southampton or rail infrastructure challenges but we are very much tied to our individual constituencies and busy with them. This new think-tank could be really important for the region in making sure we speak with one voice on some of the major issues we face. I look forward to working with it."
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