Hampshire and Isle of Wight submit 'southern powerhouse' devolution plans

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image copyrightIAN CAPPER
image captionOne of the proposals is to improve transport links between the mainland and the Isle of Wight

Hampshire and Isle of Wight councils have submitted devolution plans to create a "southern powerhouse".

The 15 local authorities involved believe working together will enable better business growth and more social housing and low-cost starter homes.

The plans also include integrating health services and creating a better public transport network.

Devolving powers to local authorities across the country is a key part of the government's One Nation commitment.

'Bold and ambitious'

In a statement of intent to Communities and Local Government minister Greg Clark said there were "bold and ambitious" proposals to create a Hampshire and Isle of Wight combined authority.

Top of the list is a plan to create more than 80,000 homes by 2025 across brownfield sites and in rural areas.

The new authority would create a new joint planning forum "to deliver housing more quickly" with a "particular focus on low-cost starter homes".

There are also plans for a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Land Board "to unlock the deployment and regeneration of additional land assets across the whole area".

Investment proposals in transport infrastructure include an "integrated smart ticketing transport system" and improving bus, rail and ferry services between the mainland and Isle of Wight.

Plans also include "integrating commissioning and delivery of health and social care services".

In terms of business economic growth there are proposals to invest in the area's "world-class marine and aerospace clusters and university research centres".

More detailed plans will be submitted to the government next month.

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