Petition calls for a Referendum on Solent Devolution (updated)

A resident in Southsea has launched a UK Government and Parliament Petition calling for a Referendum over the plans for Solent Devolution.

solent region google maps

An online UK Government and Parliament petition has been launched today calling for a referendum “on whether or not we want a Solent Combined Authority”.

The Isle of Wight council are pressing ahead with combined authority proposals with Portsmouth and Southampton and agreed at their July Executive meeting that the Solent Devolution is in ‘best interests of the Isle of Wight’.

The local authorities say Solent Devolution should give them greater powers to make strategic decisions at a local level.

Bad timing for consultation
Southsea resident Blair Breton is concerned about the timing of the Solent Deal consultation, arguing that “little account” has been taken of the “need for accessibility for those with disabilities”.

The petition reads:

The local authorities of these areas are proposing sweeping changes to the way local government works. This will result in the creation of a new Solent Combined Authority headed by an Elected Mayor.

An online consultation began on 22nd July 2016 with little account taken of the need for accessibility for those with disabilities.

We note with concern that this consultation started during the busy summer holiday period when many people are away or otherwise occupied.

This is a matter of considerable concern for residents of Portsmouth, Southampton and the IOW.

It also disenfranchises many students who study in the two cities and on the Island, but may be away during the summer.

The petition
At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition. At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

See the petition.

It’s worth noting that even if the three authorities decide to vote against the Solent Devolution plans, the government has the power to force it upon them regardless.

If the combined authority goes ahead, the Isle of Wight will have to negotiate a share (with Southampton and Portsmouth) of the £30m per annum being offered over the next 30 years.

IWC already agree referendum
At the June full council meeting, the Isle of Wight council voted in favour of holding a referendum on the issue of devolution.

The minutes read,

THAT Council agrees that a referendum of Islanders will be held on any agreed or imposed devolution deal with Hampshire local authorities, once the details are known – particularly the financial redistribution and governance elements.

Article edit
Reference to full council motion added.

Image: © Google Maps

Thursday, 25th August, 2016 5:26pm



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

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49 Comments on "Petition calls for a Referendum on Solent Devolution (updated)"

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mark francis

This seems less of a devolution & more a takeover of the IOW by mainland authorities. Can the IOW run itself or not? Recent history might call this into question.

Julia Baker-Smith

Yes minister explains devolution:

Philip Hawkins

Do watch, it’s brilliant.

phil jordan
MF: Putting aside for one moment the views one *might* hold on the general, overall government policy of Devolution it is not the case that any devolved area agreement amounts to a “takeover”. In fact, it is probably quite the opposite. It is the creation of a shared, equal combined Authority which will inherit certain powers from central government – powers hitherto considered unthinkable from central government… Read more »
900 million over 30 years say 30 million each a year. Over the 30 years the value of the 900 million will decline. Will itbe paid all at once or in installments? Devolution and power devolved is a two edged sword.It could be a good or a bad thing. We need a deeper consultation to understand it better, and then democratically we should be allowed to vote… Read more »
billy builder
There is nothing wrong with devolution per-se, provided the devolved power sits equally between the Counties/Areas to which the power is devolved. In terms of devolution to the Solent area, provided IOW gets a third of the power, influence and senior job roles then I would be happy. The danger is that all the power, influence and senior positions would reside north of the Solent. There is… Read more »
A referendum would be a waste of time and money. A large percentage wouldn’t bother to vote. No-one really understands what may happen and indeed there is no tangible plan in place. The government is trying to get itself out of a self-created hole and I really think they need to stop digging. The amount of money that would be available to the South Island is miniscule… Read more »

I see that it is being suggested that the money be used to fund more borrowing.

Given that the current austerity was caused by frivoless borrowing and lending beyond one’s means, is it a good idea to borrow even more money and burden future generations with further debt?

phil jordan
colin: Given the interest rates available to the local authority over a long period it most certainly is the correct approach to capitalise on the additional funding rather than try to drip feed £30m a year into regeneration. (of course, with some operating costs and spread three ways we may be talking nearer £7- £8m per year for the Island itself) This is not “frivolous” whatsoever…. it… Read more »
@ Phil This resident is engaging and to borrow more money is madness. It may have become acceptable to some financiers who think it is ok if you can afford the repayments but in reality the only people making money are the financiers. Ever seen a poor bookie or banker? Regeneration? You can’t even afford public toilets without having to hive them off to other organisations to… Read more »
Billy Builder
Colin, ‘No-one really understands’, ‘no tangible plan in place’, ‘government is trying to get itself out of a self-created hole’, ‘waste of time and money’; those are the exact same arguments against the BRexit referendum. No BRexiter knew what they were voting for, there was no tangible plan following the BRexit vote, Cameron was trying to appease his EuroSeptic party, and it has cost and will cost… Read more »


We all know you didn’t like the result of the Euro vote Billy, but it really is time to get over it and to stop bringing it into every thread. You’re getting as bad as the fixed linkers.

billy builder
Colin, with the greatest respect a fixed link is a pipe dream that will never happen, whereas BRexit is a nightmare voted for by 37.5% of eligible voters based on the lies and deceit of the BRexit campaign that is happening now. I have every right to highlight this issue when appropriate and your posting outlining the futility of referenda made my comments appropriate. We will all… Read more »
Every other day I get emails saying ‘sign this or that petition’. All one has to do is without even getting out of their armchair is press a couple of buttons. Job done. Then what? This latest is ‘Lets have another referendum!’ The masses have recently discovered what referendums are. LOL!! ‘Let’s have another’. What shall we have it on this time? Oh I didn’t like the… Read more »
billy builder
Oldie, BRexit is costing Billions now, and if article 50 is ever triggered will cost hundreds of Billions each and every year going forward, making every man, woman and child significantly poorer in the future. So a few million to get the right result would be chicken feed. Solent Devolution could be very beneficial for the Island, or it could be an absolute disaster with the off-shoring… Read more »
Oh lets just stay in the EU then…. what a stupid narrow minded view. we as a society are far better off than previous generations. The boom of the late 1990’s and up to 2007 was a boom caused by Labours financial mismanagement of the economy and a banking system left to do what it pleased. That legacy is what has made us poorer now and will… Read more »

Oh dear, Billy Builder. Once again you are talking unsubstantiated rubbish.
Foreign investment is continuing – the pound is beginning to claw back and shares are on the up.
Where are your facts?

billy builder
Dave, the evidence is all around you. The pound has fallen by 15% against the Dollar and the Euro and will continue to fall month by month. Annuity rates have fallen by about 400 pounds on a pension of 5000 a year (that’s a loss of £8000 over the pension term affecting the majority of new retirees). The US are contemplating an interest rate rise to quell… Read more »

We’re Doomed! We’re Doomed!!

Oldie, why do you think you are constantly being asked to sign petitions? Could it be because people are fed up with not being listened to and feel it’s the only way to have their say? As for cost, it would be very worrying for democracy to be a casualty of austerity. I imagine there are some who would love nothing better than to dispense with elections… Read more »
Emma, I’m constantly being bombarded with requests to sign petitions because those who organise them are constantly bombarding my email account with them. I’m quite comfortable with partaking in government and council elections every few years. And I’m quite comfortable with accepting the results even when the winner is not the one I voted for myself, as long as they have been run according to the rules.… Read more »
Steve Goodman
And a lot of us don’t like the way that Apple treat us, and do like the way that the European Commissioners are doing something about it, because the likes of Apple have been allowed to place themselves beyond the control of single states. I’m reminded that Mark Thomas arranged a protest at Apple’s Regent Street store three years ago because for the previous four years just… Read more »

And how are Apple treating ‘us’?
The people I’ve met who work for Apple are doing very well.
And as Downing Street were quick off the mark inviting Apple to move to the UK this week and to use British workforce instead of European, the Unelected European Commissioners may well have shot themselves in the foot.

billy builder

Oldie, but Apple are in Island because they are in the EU and Apple are able to sell their wares across the EU with no trade barriers. The UK if BRexit happens will not be in the EU so why would Apple want to move here?

billy builder

Ireland even

These e-petitions achieve exactly nothing. Not a single change in policy or law. They might raise a little awareness of an issue, but in our modern world with its 24/7 constant stream of consciousness, awareness is a fleeting moment and then nothing. So these petitions do nothing but give those signing them a short, but false, moment of feeling that they’re doing something. If I thought it’d… Read more »
Petitions do work. No 10 has a list of actions taken following e-petitions. TTIP has been been much petititioned and is now not likely to go ahead according to the Germans. Petitions are a form of lobbying and there is much evedience that lobbying is necessary to persuade our politicians to change there views. Devololution involves a change to the way local authorities are funded. The Government… Read more »
I agree with you rajygoroc that petitions do work and that they are part of our Parliamentary process. It’s just that we seem to be getting rather a lot of them. Referendums are not a part of our parliamentary process. However they don’t have to listen to them. But it’s a good idea that they do because in the end the people have the whip hand in… Read more »
Steve Goodman
These e-petitions are a very useful addition to the few options available to those of us seeing the need to halt and reverse the harm being done to us all, while we still have the ability to say ‘no, sod it, not in my name, and not with my money. I don’t accept this, and as my silence may be construed as acquiescence, I would like to… Read more »
Steve Goodman
As others have said, petitions are an important part of our political process. That’s particularly true in an electoral system which hands over huge power to those who win so few votes. In the absence of any sign of electoral reform, how else are we to have a voice? And why should the people of Southampton and Portsmouth be denied a referendum when residents of the Isle… Read more »
Billy Builder. Brexit is already starting to happen. Brexit will happen. The new Brexit Government will see that it happens because the Government can constitutionly do anything it likes. And it is becoming clearer and clearer by the day what they are going to do and what they will do, Billy Builder. Apple and other big companies like Google are only in Ireland because of tax reasons.… Read more »
billy builder
Oldie, what a complete and utter load of tosh. Apple setup in Ireland to be in the EU. If Ireland were not in the EU Apple would not have gone there Ireland gave Apple a tax deal that was denied to other companies and was against EU rules for state aid, so Apple have been penalised IF BRexit ever happens the UK will not be in the… Read more »

Billy, hahaaa. Now you’re the one talking ‘tosh’ because you are still in denial that you lost the referendum vote.

It’s all changed since June 23rd. You’re still thinking in pre Brexit referendum mode Billy Builder.
Never underestimate the power of Government.
And if you don’t like what’s happening you can express your dissatisfaction at the ballot box in 2020.


Absolutely right Oldie. I fear though that Billy has nothing else to do with his life apart from post his Remain arguments on here even though each passing day brings further evidence as to how wrong he is.

Terry Carpenter
The Isle of Wight wiil not lose it’s County status, Portsmouth and Southampton will not lose their City status. We will all keep our own identities as independant units. But will operate as a one County two City partnership Group with combined additional authority over certain issues! As England’s largest Island and second smallest County, we have no City of our own. So we are geographically well… Read more »
There will be loss of identity in a political way. The mayor will have powers and money that the Local Authorities do not have. The Mayor will likely require professional and consultative help. There will be discussions about which authorities get which policies and money. e.g. a tram might be built from Southampton to Portsmouth, how does that help Portsmouth? Or improvements to the road network in… Read more »
Well I did vote even though they probably won’t achieve much. The powers that be know that most people would dump it like Brexit,that it why it is arbitrary and a referendum is opposed. Devolution is part of EU policy for the regions and Teresa May wants to keep it going so that everything is in place for reneging on the EU leave vote. Brexit does mean… Read more »
billy builder
Rod, with respect BRexit ment different things to different people, because no one had actually defined what BRexit ment. To many it ment stopping immigration from the EU as well as the rest of the world. For one of BRexits principle business supportes it ment leaving the EU but staying within the free trade area and keeping free movement of people. For many it ment putting £350m… Read more »

Plenty of Remainers were affected by ‘Project Fear’ and had a variety of misconceptions and delusions about supposed benefits of remaining in the EU.

Reputable UK news stations nowadays are regularly bursting Remain myths, revealing just how hoodwinking they were to many – at the time.

billy builder
Nico/Cicero – as ever you are talking from where the sun never shines – point to a single article or story or news report made by anyone not part of the BRexit campaign that discredits anything the Remain campaign said. I can point to dozens and dozens showing the BRexit campaigns was a pack of lies And while your about it provide a definitive view of what… Read more »
You’ve got a very unclear memory of Cicero, billy, if you think I might be he! I’m not even a he! Otherwise, thank you for your kind words, but I have an inkling it would be like trying to find a mouse hole in the dark if we embarked upon discussing Brexit together. I pop up occasionally on the subject only to register that there is a… Read more »
billy builder

Nico, my mistake then, its just that your writing style and blog frequency is very similar to that of Cicero, and you started blogging at almost the same time as Cicero stopped blogging.

Luisa Hillard
I’ve said it before: What’s the point of a referendum if the government can (and most likely will) force devolution upon us? There may be no choice to make. “Sending a message”? Well, it would be expensive to the Council Tax payer (money that could be spent on delivering services) and I have little hope of the ‘No’ campaign (whom I would expect to be in the… Read more »

Keep on putting your views Nico. I like to read the things you say. And I like the balance of you and Billy Builder. We don’t want the same views all the time. We need a balance to make us think a bit more.

Oldie and billy That’s kind of you to say, Oldie, thanks! Billy, if you think those aspects are similar, you’re confirming the confusion I suspected. Plus I declined to get into a discussion with you, and that really *is* cast-iron evidence! Btw, isn’t accepting only non-Brexit campaign member’s assertions re. Remain myths, rather like insisting you will listen only to the non-religious for verification of the existence… Read more »
billy builder
Nico, as both the Daily Express and the Sun were both firm BRexit papers and pedalled the BRexit lies for all they were worth, I wouldn’t believe one word they write. With regard to job losses following BRexit, those will come in due course. BRexit, company investment, recession and job losses are like a train in time, each seperated by several months. That is BRexit will have… Read more »

This thread definitely needs splitting.