As neighbouring authorities, and of comparable size, representing a combined population of more than 2.5 million residents, Hampshire and Surrey already co-operate across a range of activities, including Hampshire assisting with some transformation work in Surrey’s Children’s Services.
Following the visit, Councillor Perry commented: “It was useful for my Deputy Leader, Keith Mans and I to meet Tim Oliver the new Leader of Surrey. All councils with responsibility for social care are under severe financial pressure and this was an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas on how to meet the challenges of caring for the growing number of adults and children requiring Local Authority support.
“We further focused on our shared membership of regional organisations such as the South East England Councils, as well as the County Councils Network and how we can best participate within these valuable organisations to promote the interests of local government, specifically making a strong and united case for the South East in relation to fairer funding and investment.”
The two leaders also discussed the South East’s position as a leading global economy and the shared ambitions of both organisations in relation to driving forward economic growth for the region – focusing on enterprise and innovation, infrastructure and housing, as well as skills and employability.
Councillor Perry added: “At a time when the pressures on local government have never been greater, it is vital that wherever we can, shire counties in the south collaborate to share best practice and tackle shared challenges. I’m sure this will be the first of many such discussions.”