The independent Commissioners, from different backgrounds and areas of interest were brought together in 2018 by former Leader of the County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, to consider evidence, deliberate upon key issues and to make recommendations on a high level and long-term Vision for Hampshire to 2050. This was intended to guide and contribute to the future prosperity, quality of life, protection and enhancement of the character and environment of Hampshire.
Councillor Keith Mans, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “Our county, just like the country, is facing a time of rapid change which affects each and every one of us.
“From the impact of a changing climate, to the effect the digital revolution will have on the way we work, to future energy supply, there are many challenges we need to address. Ultimately, we want to secure a high quality of life for Hampshire’s next generations, continuing to enjoy an attractive environment and a prosperous economy. The recommendations approved by county councillors today set a firm course ahead. As a local Authority, we will be taking a leadership role working closely with our partners and stakeholders.”
The Commissioners considered a range of questions and evidence across six specific themed hearings, drawing upon a wide range of expert evidence, and contributions from the public. These focused on demographic challenges; the economy, work, skills and lifestyle; environment and quality of place; mobility, connectivity and energy, and rural Hampshire.
Councillor Roy Perry, Chairman of the Hampshire 2050 Commission, said “Young people across the world are telling us we need to grasp the enormity of the challenge of climate change. As commissioners, we have heard some compelling and thought- provoking evidence, and it is clear that the task we face is one that the County Council does not have the power or capacity to take on effectively alone. We must look beyond the horizon and work collaboratively with our public and private sector partners, and the third sector, to successfully deliver the far reaching and complex outcomes of the Commission, if we are to ensure future generations can enjoy the quality of life in Hampshire I have been fortunate enough to experience.”
Whilst acknowledging that no-one could accurately predict 30 years into the future, the Commission concluded that these forces were the most likely to shape future changes, and that climate change was the highest early priority, posing the single biggest threat to Hampshire’s future.
Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “The Commission’s conclusions provide further impetus to the Authority’s decision to declare a climate emergency earlier this summer. The decisions we make and actions we take now, will significantly affect the quality of life for Hampshire residents, both now and in the future. Our work to ensure environmental impacts and considerations are truly embedded in the work we all do, and how we do, now begins in earnest.”