Hampshire Combined Authority

PRESS RELEASE FROM EAST HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL

03/07/15

Councillors support concept of Hampshire combined authority

Councillors have agreed to support the concept of a combined authority across Hampshire which would see 15 councils across the area joining forces to take local control over some services that would be devolved from central government like transport, skills and infrastructure.

But East Hampshire councillors are adamant that they will only pursue this if there are clear benefits for East Hampshire residents and businesses. They agreed to support the concept of devolution in principle so that they could seek further information and clarity before committing the council.

Following almost two hours of debate at last night’s full council meeting at East Hampshire District Council members agreed to support the motion: “This council supports in principle the concept of a Hampshire combined authority. Clear benefits must be demonstrated to East Hampshire residents and business entities and it must build on the direction set by the council’s corporate strategy prior to any future commitment.”

All of the 15 local authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have to support the proposal if central government is to devolve its powers and enable a combined authority to be created.

If the Hampshire combined authority goes ahead then it could take on some new areas including:
– Local control over funding for skills, post-16 education, apprenticeships and lifelong learning
– More local control over national infrastructure spending on transport and housing
– Integration of health and social care
– Freedom to borrow against the forecast proceeds of local growth to support enabling infrastructure (this would include big ticket items like roads and schools)
– A comprehensive public sector ‘land bank’ making surplus NHS and Ministry of Defence land available for housing
– Ability to use public procurement and national business support budgets to support local business growth
– Greater retention of growth in business rates

Cllr Ferris Cowper, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said: “I think we need to say that we are in this until we understand the effect it has on our community and we will not commit beyond that.

“This is an exploratory first step to see whether a combined authority would benefit East Hampshire. Combined authorities have good and bad points and the only way we can make an informed judgement is to stay in the scheme long enough to get the information we need.”

There are currently five ‘combined authorities’ in the country – these are in Manchester, Sheffield, West Yorkshire (Leeds), Liverpool and the North East. Of these, Manchester is the most-developed and includes 10 local authorities.

A combined authority is a corporate body which enables local authorities to work jointly to deliver improvements in things like economic development, regeneration and transport across a functional economic area. It does not replace, merge or take over the individual councils that together form it.

“I found myself the only EHDC Councillor who felt unable to support this at this stage. The good news is that the EHDC decision was very carefully worded. I believe that HCC will debate this on Thursday 9th July.” Cllr Bob Ayer.

Family business takes over Petersfield Market

PetersfieldmarketBryantBros

A family business that has worked in the town since 1930 will restore local pride in Petersfield Market after being chosen to run it.
Well-known local fruit and vegetable company Bryant Bros are to take over the management of the town’s Wednesday and Saturday markets from East Hampshire District Council.
Following an extensive tender process EHDC agreed that the company would be best placed to handle the day-to-day affairs of the market and improve it over time.
“It is fantastic that such a well-established family business has won the contract to run Petersfield Market.
“The Wednesday and Saturday markets clearly require a new approach and direction. We were very impressed with Bryant’s bid which explained how they propose to deliver the improvements the market needs.
“We are sure they will increase the standard and diversity of the service, enhance it as an experience for shoppers and restore local pride in the market.”
The new management agreement will see pitch fees frozen for at least a year, and the extensive use of social media to promote and develop the market. Also, 25 per cent of any profit generated through the management of the market will be donated to local charities and community groups.
Bryant Bros said: “We believe that the market is at the heart of Petersfield and its community.  We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with EHDC and the other market traders to develop a bustling, vibrant and successful community market for the residents of Petersfield.”
I feel confident that this is a good call and I’m delighted that Bryant Bros have won the contract.
I feel confident that this is a good call and I’m delighted that Bryant Bros have won the contract.

New Logo

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Residents and businesses of East Hampshire and visitors to the area will soon be able to identify the work of East Hampshire District Council more easily with the introduction of a new logo.
The meeting of the full Council on Thursday 10 April is expected to give final approval of the logo plans and the roll-out will begin straight away.
In order to avoid the unnecessary cost of replacing perfectly good printed materials and signage, the new logo will be added when replacements are required or new items are produced.
This will mean that for a time the new and the old logo will be in circulation around the district, but it is expected that due to the established recognition of the old logo and the clarity of the new logo, there will be continuity between the two.
Leader of East Hampshire District Council, Councillor Ferris Cowper, said: “The old EHDC logo was introduced in 1989. Over the years, the logo has been adapted for a number of uses, but in an age of websites and social media, what we need is a clear, simple identity for the council.”
The old logo never said clearly that it was for East Hampshire District Council. With the replacement of the logo, the innovative work of the council will be more easily recognised within and outside the district.”

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