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Paper 7 - 30 January 1998

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

30 January 1998

PRIORITIES FOR THE SIX COUNTY CONFEDERATION

Paper from the Chief Executive, Havant, and the Association’s Policy Officer

RECOMMENDATION

That the Chief Executives’ Group explores, with the other local associations in Surrey, Sussex and Kent, the possibility of developing priorities for the confederation area.

SUMMARY

Five of the six county areas from Hampshire to Kent have agreed to form a confederation to work together within the Regional Development Agency (RDA) area (see map attached). The Association of Councils of the Thames Valley Region (ACTVaR) is preparing a strategy for its part of the area. This paper suggests that the confederation should prepare a review of priorities for its part of the area to be ready by 1 April 1999 when the Government proposes that the Regional Development Agency will formally be constituted.

THE SERPLAN REGIONAL GUIDANCE

1. Regional guidance for South East England will be in place from 1 April 1999 (see item 4). The London Authority will be a driving force within the South East. In the South East RDA area, the Thames Valley authorities will develop a strategy for the area west of London. The confederation of six counties is only just coming together - with some reservations in Kent and Brighton. A review of priorities - however broad and "outline" - is needed to create some common purpose across the confederation area in the context of the guidance SERPLAN is now drawing up. Ideally, the review will help the confederation to respond to and influence the draft regional guidance.

THE POSITION OF THE SOUTH EAST REGIONAL FORUM (SERF)

2. Hampshire and Isle of Wight (HIOW) authorities have taken a leading role in SERF, and will be working to set up both the RDA and the regional chamber for the South East. SERF has been anxious to see "petals" of the RoSE develop. HIOW has led the development of our "petal" and would be likely to have SERF’s support in consolidating the confederation of six counties by developing the joint strategy. SERF has a sub-group which is developing an economic strategy for the SERF area, and within that for the South East RDA area. Authorities within "our petal" need to share work on priorities in order to react to and feed into the regional strategy.

THE RDA AND THE REGIONAL CHAMBER

2. Both these proposed bodies will need to work to a strategy. ACTVaR will be providing its own. This large and disparate Oxfordshire to Kent RDA area (see map) could perhaps benefit from focussing on two parts of its area (the Thames Valley and the southern "petal"). Development of broad priorities and strategies for these areas should also assist the work of the Regional Chamber.

IMPLEMENTATION

3. A first draft review of priorities for the six county area should not be sophisticated. It should draw on the SERPLAN work and on individual structure plan/corporate plan work of constituent associations and authorities. A first draft could be prepared by a secondee from one of the authorities once the SERPLAN draft regional guidance is published (April 1998). The first step will be to get agreement to this proposal from the associations constituting the confederation. If they are agreeable in principle, then it would be necessary to set up a Steering Group broadly representative of the constituent authorities in the confederation. The Steering Group would guide the secondee in the preparation of a review and consult local associations and member authorities in the confederation.

NICK GOULDER
Policy Officer

Last update: 05/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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