Devolution deal focused on the Heart of Hampshire

Winchester City Council is involved in discussions with neighbouring councils and other bodies about creating a ‘Heart of Hampshire’ combined authority.

Earlier this year it became clear that not all authorities within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight supported the proposal for a directly elected Mayor, who would be responsible for service and budgets across the whole area. This meant that a previously proposed Hampshire and Isle of Wight combined authority was no longer deliverable.

The Heart of Hampshire would include the area of the county covered by Winchester, Basingstoke and Deane, Hart, New Forest, Rushmoor and Test Valley councils. It would also include Hampshire County Council and Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership.

The authorities within the Heart of Hampshire share common economic, social and cultural interests that are the basis for a natural alignment and rational geographical area. The updated devolution proposals, founded on two deals that cover the entire Hampshire and Isle of Wight area (the other based around the Solent/southern part of Hampshire), offers a logical and complete solution.

A draft prospectus and draft agreement, which will form the basis of any negotiation with Government over a devolution deal for the Heart of Hampshire, was submitted to Government on Wednesday 4 May 2016.

The proposals will be considered by Winchester City councillors and would be subject to public consultation and agreement by the full City Council in due course.

Who is the proposed Heart of Hampshire?

The Heart of Hampshire comprises the area covered by:

  • Hampshire County Council
  • Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
  • Hart District Council
  • New Forest District Council
  • Rushmoor Borough Council
  • Test Valley Borough Council
  • Winchester City Council

The two national parks are:

  • New Forest National Park Authority
  • South Downs National Park Authority

What is in the draft agreement?

The Heart of Hampshire’s proposals focus around four key themes: boosting economic growth; ensuring people have the right skills for work; building homes that people need; investing in infrastructure and transport.

The Heart of Hampshire would work to deliver services as close to communities as possible and explore opportunities for district and parish councils to take on extra functions and develop services with communities.

The overall aim is to make the area an even better place to live and work by growing the economy in urban and rural areas without destroying what makes them special.