Solent Deal a “stepping stone to something better”

At Full Council on Tuesday 11 October, Cllr Stephen Morgan, the Labour Group’s new leader, set out the case in favour of the Solent Deal:

“These significant proposals give our councils a route to financial stability with the early return of the whole of business rates to the city.

£30 million per year for 30 years – which if capitalized – will release further funding for investment in infrastructure.

For Pompey people this means:

  • much needed new social and affordable homes
  • better public transport
  • creation of new jobs and investment in our local economy.

Proposals also give us as a city more control.

Control over bus transportation using the provisions of the ‘Bus Act’ – only available to combined authorities.

Control over the design of adult skills service and full devolution of the budget – to upskill communities in a changing world.

And it gives us the opportunity to bid for powers and resources around local control of other budgets and functions such as probation and health services.

Whilst we have had concerns over the process and public consultation, and we think this ought to be a full council decision, we believe this opportunity for the people of Portsmouth is not one to be missed.

It is a stepping stone for something better and allows for greater collaboration with our neighbours to enable economic growth and create new jobs.

Devolution is crucial to giving us the space, resources and powers needed to get things done.

It is a pathway to investment in city infrastructure and to help bring politics closer to the people of Portsmouth.

These proposals before tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting have Labour’s support”.