Isle of Wight council to be swallowed by a Hampshire-wide Combined Authority?

A recent letter to Government has been uncovered that Isle of Wight council is open to the idea of being brought into a Hampshire-wide Combined Authority. Would that be a good idea?

Whole of Hampshire and Isle of Wight

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 – later referred to as the Southern Powerhouse.

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.

The letter is below, so you can read more

Monday, 29th June, 2015 7:01pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Overseas, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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57 Comments on "Isle of Wight council to be swallowed by a Hampshire-wide Combined Authority?"

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The Sciolist
Yes please. Personally I have had enough of second-rate officers thinking they are worth £100-150,000 a year who deliver nothing but failure. None of them are (or were) ever to blame, and they always enjoyed the apparent support of dimwitted cheerleader councillor’s, who also become blind to their very obvious shortcomings. We’ve seen more than thirty years of this from all the political groups and now the… Read more »
The IW Council will have brought this upon itself if it were to happen. One of the original ideas of one Island council was to bring everything together from the town councils and the economies of scale and a unitary authority would save money and be more efficient. However, the IW council is now trying to put as much as possible back to the responsibility of the… Read more »

Mmm! Hants CC is dominated by the right wing and quasi- right-wing (46 Con, 9 UKIP and 16 LibDem). Didn’t the Island learn from its experience with the last Tory IWC?

retired Hack

I think we need to hear from Cllr Bacon whether this “Combined Authority” is really intended as a full amalgamation of all the councils; or whether it’s a body intended only to take specified devolved powers from the Government.


I agree. It does look on the face of it, that he’s selling us down the river.

Albert Street

While I can see the obvious economies of scale. I fear that being part of Hampshire we would be in a different socio-economic group and will always be the poor relation to our mainland neighbors.

Surely there needs to be a referendum on the Island before this advances to the nest stage.


Brilliant idea

The Sciolist

Left right or centre, all have failed miserably. Surely nothing can be as bad as the council’s we have endured these past several decades?


Agree with Sciolist. Given that most Isle of Wight councillors couldn’t find their a***hole in the dark the Hampshire lot couldn’t do any worse


Being part of a combined authority will unlock more powers (and cash) from central government and enable more integration of public transport (including buses and ferries) – it can only be a good thing.


Quislings comes to mind.

Ian Delaney

Hampshire can relate to the needs of an Island how? Same old crap all over again. Wouldn’t be all about cost cutting now would it?

Adrian whittaker

This is a big thing for the iow increased council tax island resident’s money going off the island A REFERENDUM IS NEED LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE


We can’t have a referendum, there are neither the funds nor authority, we have learnt this from the fixed link debate

I'll Get Flamed

How come the most bankrupt country in Europe (Greece) can afford and organise a referendum in 7 days …. yet we can’t afford one? :-)

Let’s have a referendum on this and the Fixed Link at the same time.

Mark Francis

Or Russia.
In Crimea.


@IGF It is because the Greek electorate is seriously p*ssed off with Austerity, the EU N


Fat finger day! :-((


@IGF It is because the Greek electorate is seriously p*ssed off with austerity, the EU and its sycophants in the Greek civil service and government.

The next stages could be violent public reaction, followed by a military coup (backed by the CIA as agents of US banking interests) “to save the country”.

(Could also happen in the UK in the next few years.)

Ian Young
This is slightly off topic Cicero, but having spent much of the past 3 Months in Greece I agree that the Greek people are indeed seriously p*ssed off with austerity. I should also add that most of the Greek people I know are now also seriously p*ssed off with Aexis Tsipras and Syriza, who like so many on the Far Left promise much but have in fact… Read more »
Watch this space Ian. The current situation in Greece has many similarities with previous ones in 1930s Spain, 1970s Latin America, and more recently Egypt. Then there were the Battle of Orgreave in 1984, the Poll Tax riots in 1990 and the London Riots in 2011. People- even the usually apathetic and phlegmatic Brits- will stand being pushed only so far by those in power before they… Read more »
Ian Young

Will indeed watch this space, even better I am going back to Greece in a few weeks will give you an update, CIA permitting.

Thanks Ian- info from the front line is the best!. BTW you might be surprised how many ex-CIA people work for one of Greece’s major creditors- Goldman Sachs- and how many of its alumni are in positions of political power in EU governments, maybe also the EU Commission. According to the FT “High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link… Read more »

On behalf of the future of Isle of Wight Democracy, the people should organise for a NO vote on the resolution.


I wonder if you understand the irony in that statement. “Organise for a no vote”.

The point behind a democratic vote is we get to choose no, or yes.


Hampshire population approx 1,700,000

Isle of Wight population approx 140,000

For some reason I’m not convinced we would have a strong voice within that administrative unit.

If it does happen it strengthens the case for a fixed link though.


The resolution,the IW Council should vote NO!


I would say we would have virtually no voice at all!!
Chances are it will be forced through anyway no matter what we on the Island think.

The Sciolist

Build it. It’s way past due.

Dean Woodford
No no no no no. Why on earth would anyone from the Island think that somebody who lives over the water would want to make things better for us…. Look into history it has been tried before & has never worked. If the people who are in the Council think we would be better being looked after by someone else… Surely it means they ain’t doing their… Read more »

I have experience of a number of those authorities, and they are all pretty useless. I am certain that combining them into one super-authority wouldn’t improve that at all. Probably means the major players would get paid more though, which is most likely what all this is about.


If this lot don’t start getting their act together then yes.


If it was serious about helping the Island economy, would the super-authority build and operate a a state-funded fixed link?

Or more likely would the Tory super- authority put more PFI money into the pockets of their investment banker friends?

The second is odds-on. is it not?

Black Dog

What has happened to representing the people of the Island? Will those who are involved in the alleged negotation be employed by the new authority?

All of this stinks


So far the island has lost it’s County status, railways (Cowes, Freshwater, Ventnor etc), DL number plate, independent shops, local police stations, local fire brigade control etc etc. So I’d like to see we retain the IW Council as the IW Council and not swallowed up by Hampshire.


“The leader of the (Hants) county council, Roy Perry, has written to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, saying the councils will be preparing a devolution submission.” (per the Beeb)

How about the IWC preparing a similar devolution submission from the proposed “Combined Authority” as a prophylactic against the Island losing its identity completely?

It seems to me that the Tories are trying to revive the Empire traditions of Victorian times. The difference this time it is based on internal empire-building in the UK rather than mess with overseas colonies who have subsequently claimed their independence, Still, no doubt these latter-day empire builders are comforted that we are not far from Pompey if they ever need to “send a gunboat” to… Read more »
Jim Moody
It is outrageous that Cllr Bacon, as Leader of the IoW Council has put his name to this secret document. Where has there been any public discussion of this proposal? These so-called representatives behave as if this is 1815, when the word ‘democracy’ was a derogatory term used by the ruling class. There has to be complete transparency in all public matters: that is basic to democracy.… Read more »
S Osmund
What happened to “openness and transparency”? Sadly this proposal merely confirms the tendency of IOW Councillors and their permanent officers to take ill conceived and negligent courses of action in the hope that by the time the electorate become aware, it is too late. As part of Hampshire we will be in a minority, but as has already been said, we’ve lost a number of basic local… Read more »
I'll Get Flamed
There is an uncomfortable reality that the Island cannot financially support itself. We have an elderly population with complex care requirements and low average wages. It is hard (impossible) to maintain your independence if you can’t afford to pay your bills. That is why we need a plan for the Island that will grow our economy and bring skilled, well paid jobs back to the Island. We… Read more »

To repeat “If it was serious about helping the Island economy, would the super-authority build and operate a a state-funded fixed link?”

Note “state funded”!

Island Worker

When we built all those “Helicopters, hovercrafts, Rockets etc. How could we have managed to do that when we didn’t have this “Fixed Link”?

I'll Get Flamed
Because it was a different time – industry was less reliant on factors such as “economy of scale” and “just in time delivery”. When it comes to skilled workers, people travelled less and families were not geographically distributed. People had different lifestyle expectations. There was a programme on great Formula 1 designers recently where John Barnard explained how he was the first (in the 1980s) to put… Read more »
Mark Francis

Children Services have already been taken over & the Police are run by Hampshire.
I am unsure whether this “devolved” body will be as well as or instead of existing councils which will just make another tier of bureaucracy.

IOW – Failed state?

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… Read more »
Chris newman
We are already under threat from Hampshire Council Intervention, with their proposal of closing either Carisbrooke or Medina College. (They disguised this action as a Merger of the two Schools, but whatever they call it it it is still a closure of one of them.) We have already experienced what the disruption to our education system this causes and we are still suffering the damage caused to… Read more »

The Ryde and East Wight Trades Council calls for a referendum and a NO vote.

Rod Manley

This is like the European Commission and the EU, I wonder what Turner thinks of this one?

The IOW Council won’t even be a commissioning council.

People need to get a handle on what is being proposed here. There is a danger that, with the level, of cuts that the Isle of Wight Council has seen it will be left with just adult social care and child protection and could be easily taken over by Hampshire but this is not what the letter is proposing. It is a bid for the same sort… Read more »
Democratic control over a business organisation Ed? More likely to be the other way around and allowing business into regional Government in order to control economic policy. This is the opposite to decentralisation, it is centralisation. Yes the Government does want to impose mayors like in Birmingham against the wishes of the public. The devolving of services and housing is more like shifting responsibility, including finance rather… Read more »
D Longfils
Talk of investment not coming to IOW is a bit of a joke – there has been precious little up to now. This is primarily because our council does not seem to know how to go about getting that investment. A combined council would make a lot of sense if done properly. Each council would have ONE head of department instead of the current god knows how… Read more »
Mark Francis
Sandown needs the smack of firm government regarding some vital planning decisions. What is going to be done about the Royal Cliff Estate? Likewise the Grand Hotel & the Savoy derelict site. If the Cliffside site from the former Grange Hotel (still a bombsite)down to Ferncliffe Gardens is geologically unstable, why not landscape it as a public park. I recall some councillor talking about Battery Gardens becoming… Read more »

you’ve gotta be kiddin’.

Steephill Jack

The Conservative government is determined to reduce local authority funding to a level where small authorities,like IoW,cannot fulfil their statutory functions. Those who voted for Andrew Turner voted for this and our MP will be delighted to work with a Conservative council.
As part of Hampshire we lose island status and whatever benefits arise from that. Being independent is always best.


This council we have in at the moment will do anything to pass the buck of reasonability of anything just as long as the sh*t doesn’t hit them (one eg Cowes ferry fare due to central funding and the list is to long to mention).

Bring on closer integration with Hampshire, things could not be much worse than they are now. I have lived and worked both sides of the Solent over many year and thing are generally better organised, better run and cheaper over there, Free from the influence of the Newport Masonic lodge. If there is ever a fixed link( its been discussed for the last 100 years or so… Read more »

See the interest of Roy Perry in spilling the beans, “Winchester could be split over plans to form a devolved super authority for south Hampshire”, Hampshire Chronicle;