Devolution and the Future of Local Government in the Heart of Hampshire Area - Nov 2016

Hart District Council has published the report from consultants PwC that it commissioned jointly with five other Councils to provide an independent assessment about Devolution and the Future of Local Government in the Heart of Hampshire area.

The need for the independent report was triggered when Hampshire County Council (HCC) took all 14 councils in Hampshire by surprise and unilaterally commissioned proposals for local government reorganisation from consultants, Deloittes.

The ambition of Hart District Council and the other councils is to work in partnership with HCC to benefit businesses and residents by agreeing a devolution deal with the government which will attract additional government funding into the Heart of Hampshire area.

You can read the reports below:

Devolution Proposal - May 2016

Hart District Council is involved in discussions with neighbouring councils and other bodies about creating a ‘Heart of Hampshire’ combined authority.  This is part of the Government’s “Devolution” agenda where groupings of local authorities take on additional powers from Government and also get access to money that would otherwise have been spent by the Government.  It’s worth hundreds of millions of pounds over 10 years.

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. Our 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 subject to public consultation and agreement by all the 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
  • New Forest District Council
  • Rushmoor Borough Council
  • Test Valley Borough Council
  • Hart District 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.

Hampshire County Council Proposals

Hampshire County Council was involved in the preparation of the Heart of Hampshire devolution proposals.  It however has now put forward its own separate proposals and is seeking views on the merits of its approach. The consultation can be accessed at and runs until 20 September 2016.

Hart’s views on Hampshire’s proposals can be found in a leaflet that we have published and sent to all properties in Hart.  We have also written to all Parish and Town Councils.

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