Residents have their say – keep Hampshire together

Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet will be weighing up some important issues about the future of local government in the county when it meets on 14 November

Nov 4 2016

The County Council’s Leader, Councillor Roy Perry said: "I remain determined to keep Hampshire together. The feedback we’ve received from over 5,000 Hampshire residents, businesses and key stakeholders will be at the heart of our decision-making on what the future of local government could look like across the county.

"I’m very grateful to the number of residents who took the time to respond to our open consultation and those who participated in the forums and telephone interviews. Admittedly, it is quite a complex subject. Contrary to some unhelpful claims by others, the County Council did not enter the consultation with a preferred option. Instead, we kept all options open and set out a range of questions for people to consider.

"Perhaps because of this, the results were very balanced. However, it was clear that the majority of people supported keeping Hampshire together, which is a position we’ve maintained since devolution discussions began, as it protects vital county-wide services, such as highways; and health and social care. It is also clearly in the best interests of all parts of the county, including the less well performing parts.

"We have always felt very strongly that any devolution deal should achieve the best outcomes for the whole Hampshire area. I remain committed, as I have been all along to working with our partners to achieve this aim.

"The County Council remains strongly opposed to parts of Hampshire joining a Solent Combined Authority as it is currently proposed. This would lead to services the County Council currently provides to the whole of Hampshire, such as highways and transport, being broken up and handed over to a Solent mayor. If this was to happen, the County Council’s planned investments in major road schemes could be seriously jeopardised

"Overall, the national and local context surrounding devolution is very fluid with much uncertainty. Added to which, all councils face massive funding pressures which mean we can ill afford to add still more layers of local bureaucracy. The County Council’s focus remains firmly on getting the best outcome for Hampshire residents. We have a duty to the people of Hampshire to do all we can to sustain public services in the most cost effective way. That’s why I want to keep Hampshire together – for our community, our services and our economic prospects."

Following consideration by Cabinet, the County Council’s position on devolution and local government reorganisation will then be considered at a meeting of the Full Council on 24 November.

Further update on Local Government Review