24 Oct 2016 Last updated at 19:00

Solent Combined Authority update

A meeting of the Executive of the Isle of Wight Council has tonight (Monday 24 October) agreed a decision to continue the process which may lead to the establishment of a Solent Combined Authority (with Portsmouth and Southampton city councils).

The Executive, as part of this process, has agreed to submit a request to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to establish a Solent Combined Authority - alongside Portsmouth and Southampton city councils, which made their decisions last week.

Isle of Wight Council leader, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, said: "This decision will mean the Isle of Wight Council can stay at the table as these discussions progress, with the involvement of the secretary of state. The council will still retain the option of not joining the combined authority if suitable terms cannot be agreed or the expected devolution deal, including an expected commitment for £900 million investment funds over 30 years, is not secured with the government - both will need the further and final agreement of the council.

"By taking this decision to stay at the table, we are ensuring that every opportunity is examined and kept open as we endeavour to secure a long-term sustainable financial future for the council and the Island as a whole.

"As part of our future plans we have just approved a more positive medium term financial strategy which focuses strongly on regeneration and economic growth. The strategy buys us some time to grow our tax base as a result of planned regeneration activities. This will be more easily delivered if investment funds from government are made available."

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The Executive met at County Hall, Newport
The Executive met at County Hall, Newport
  • Portsmouth and Southampton city councils made their decisions last week.
Isle of Wight, UK