Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

14 DEC 2015

Local devolution on the table in Parliament

Steve Brine joined Winchester City Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Godfrey, alongside council leaders and fellow MPs, at a parliamentary reception on Monday 14th December to discuss Hampshire and the Isle of Wight's devolution bid.

The event was an opportunity for MPs to hear more about the ambitious plans and speak to the partners involved, and despite a full parliamentary schedule, 11 of the area's 19 MPs attended the two-hour event where they met Leaders and chief executives from the partners as well as representatives from the emergency services and business community.

Further backing and support has been expressed by other MPs who could not make the date due to diary pressures.

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Stephen Godfrey said: "I was pleased to make the journey to Westminster with most of my fellow Leaders and lead officers. We received a very positive reception from our parliamentary representatives to our explanation of the impact that our devolution proposals will have for Winchester and for Hampshire."

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight's devolution proposals are set out in a prospectus submitted to central government on behalf of 15 councils, two local enterprise partnerships and two national park authorities. The bid has also received the support of Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Steve Brine said: "This was a very useful event, and should these exciting proposals be successful, the ambitious nature of the devolution deal and number of partners involved mean it could become a blueprint for cities and regions across the country to follow."

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight's proposals focus around four key themes: boosting business and skills for work; accelerating housing delivery; investing in infrastructure; and transforming public services.

Within these themes, projects will deliver on the government's productivity plan and rural productivity plan and ensure: more homes are built; more efficient local planning; further expansion of broadband; better mobile connectivity; improved transport connections; a more highly-skilled workforce with employers setting the skills agenda locally; higher employment and better wages.

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