Sir - Advertiser readers will have heard and read about various alternative futures for the administration of local government in Hampshire. This comes about because the Government has a predilection driving down costs and for Elected Mayors.

The issue has been precipitated by 'Solent', which something akin to the old Solent City idea but with East Hampshire tacked on, going it alone on a 'combined authority with Mayor structure.' Any glance at a map shows how irrational this is. 

It is rational, however, that the remaining districts should protect their position as Ian Carr, leader of Test Valley Borough Council, has tried to do.

It's even more rational for Cllr Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, to attempt to protect the entity that is 'Hampshire'.

The difference is that Cllr Perry has used an independent, and thus hopefully objective agency, Deloittes, to generate running cost comparisons, which let's face it, is what is driving the government's agenda.

He is putting public consultation first (unlike Heart and Solent), is suggesting 'area offices' and local planning committees and is suggesting devolution to the town and parish councils that want it.

In every sense, therefore, Hampshire Council is a more rational and cost effective solution to the complexities of local government.

Remember too, that as far as the public is concerned, we want good, cost-effective service from 'the council'. We're not much worried who, or what, that council is .

When people ask me where I'm from, I say "Romsey, Hampshire." I've never said "Romsey, Test Valley". 

What do you say?


Mark Cooper 

County Councillor for Romsey 

Local Councillor, Romsey Tadburn