Southern councils push for devolved powers

June 17 2015  

Southern councils push for devolved powers
Three councils in southern England have come together to urge Government to support their wish for greater powers and financial freedoms to deliver public service improvements in areas including infrastructure and transport.
 
East Sussex, Surrey and West Sussex county councils have written to the Communities & Local Government Secretary Greg Clark setting out their offer and asking him to help progress their ambitions. At the heart of the devolution proposal is a wish to deliver speedier and more locally informed decisions around major infrastructure plans. These include upgrades to roads such as the A27, improvements around Gatwick airport and better rail services.
 
East Sussex County Council leader Keith Glazier said: “Road and rail infrastructure form an important part of future regeneration aims. By working together the three counties can have more strategic influence and help achieve their aims earlier. With more autonomy we believe we can help grow the local economy and encourage greater investment in the region.”
 
West Sussex leader Louise Goldsmith added: “Devolution is the future for local government. It will allow us to deal with difficult issues so much better if we have greater powers and freedoms.”
 
Surrey’s leader David Hodge said: “Only through collaborating and working as one team can we be certain to make the services people rely on fit for the future.”
 
The three councils form part of the ‘South East 7’ partnership of seven local councils, formed in 2010. They say in their letter to the Communities & Local Government Secretary that it has the full support of its other SE7 colleagues and their commitment to SE7 “remains and will evolve”.
 
(Photo: Google Maps)

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