Isle of Wight Council to be Combined Authority

It has long been known that the Isle of Wight Council would eventually be dismantled by the Government.

A recent letter to Government by Isle of Wight council is open to the idea of being brought into a Hampshire-wide Combined Authority. There are some Councillors who would sell out local democracy.

The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Roy Perry, has written to the responsible Government Minister to inform him that The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Government Association (HIOWLGA) have ‘unanimously agreed’ to what would be a major change for the region.

The body, which represents all Hampshire councils, including the current Unitary council of the Isle of Wight, have agreed to support a proposal for a Hampshire-wide Combined Authority.

This major change to the area hasn’t been officially announced, but was discovered in the paperwork for Winchester council by Jessica Parker of BBC Radio Solent.
All areas, combined

This new authority would combine the Isle of Wight, all 11 Hampshire Districts and the other two Unitary authorities in the area, Portsmouth and Southampton, Minister Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will learn in the letter.

The stated aim for this would be to prepare the area for Devolution.

Sadly, it was the Trades Councils that warned us about this over 2 years ago,when outsourcing and privatisation and even “Localism” became the order of the day. When education and child services were lauded by “Independent” Priest and Conservative, Whitehouse. The Academies and Free Schools cannot be separated from it. Privatisation of the NHS neither.

Island Roads/PFI are also part of the privatisation plan. Deregulation of the buses and the end of Wightbus are too.

The Trades Unions, who were losing members and jobs, said to them,”If you carry on this way, you will lose local democracy and what will be the point of the Council”.

A stand on Austerity has been required all along the way. It still is and people should decide. The grant cuts led to the Trades Union call to “Point your finger at the Government” and this doesn’t simply mean “lobby” it is a demand.

If local democracy and local decision-making is lost to the mainland it won’t be “devolution” it will be centralisation.

How many Councillors will we be able to elect to this supra-council? How easy will it be to get a response or an answer to problems when an Isle of Wight person rings up the council when it is in Hampshire?

How will people respond when Council tax rises instead of falls due to these so called “efficiency” and “duplication” anomalies are “ironed out”?

There will be no improved services provision.

The point is to block this undemocratic scheme, reverse the situation, protect local democracy.

The people should decide and the answer should be NO!

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