Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth agrees to launch Solent Combined Authority bid

Portsmouth City Council has agreed to launch a bid to government to form a combined authority for the Solent area.

Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight councils want to create the authority to take on services currently managed by central government.

Portsmouth's cabinet is the first of the three councils to agree to be part of the application to government.

Southampton City Council and Isle of Wight Council are due to have similar meetings in the next two weeks.

If all three councils agree, an application will be submitted to government.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight councils want to create a combined authority

Council leader Donna Jones said: "I am delighted that we have agreed to progress plans for a Solent Combined Authority, this is something that will deliver huge benefits for residents of Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

"I am confident councils in Southampton and the Isle of Wight will follow suit in the coming weeks and look forward to formally submitting our application to government."

Under the deal, the councils would leave the current system of government funding in exchange for keeping business rates of about £210m a year.

They would also secure £900m from government to spend over 30 years on infrastructure.

The three councils would continue as separate entities and retain their existing powers but they would also be equal members on a board, led by an elected mayor.

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