The think tank and policy forum for central southern England

New approaches to long term challenges

Why does central southern England need new focus?

Central southern England stretches broadly from Dorset to West Sussex, and the Isle of Wight to Oxfordshire. The region has had little public policy focus despite facing challenges distinct from both the metropolis and other English regions.

Our public spending per head is low though we face the triple costs of deprived urban areas, rurality and an ageing population.

Average incomes are above the national average but this can mask sharp inequalities and high living costs. Our population is growing with significant migration from other parts of the UK and abroad, but there is a real conflict between the need for housing and the sensitivity of the natural environment.

Economic development, though generally good, is uneven and constrained by shortages of skills, infrastructure and finance. There is a danger that policy makers will become complacent about the unique needs of the region.

What does the SPC contribute?

We’re a cross-party thinktank responding to these distinct challenges and opportunities. We specialise in:

Our Advisory Board brings powerful talents, impressive experience and expert insight to the real world challenges we are committed to tackling.

Above all, our work will always be rooted in practical policy making. We work with leaders in business, government at all levels, and the third sector to make sure our research has a positive impact for southern England.

Launch of the Southern Policy Centre

Southern Policy Centre launches with BBC coverage and ministerial backing

The Southern Policy Centre was launched at a major regional conference today. Keynote speakers included the Rt Hon Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, and Lord Andrew Adonis the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure.

We were delighted to welcome speakers from the private, public and civic sectors including: Cllr David Burbage (Leader Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead), Professor Stuart Bartholomew CBE (Vice Chancellor of Arts University Bournemouth), Dawn Baxendale (CEO Southampton City Council) and Peter Henley (Political Correspondent BBCTV South).

The event was hosted by Professor Joy Carter, the Chair of GuildHE, and sponsored by Zamir telecom.

Related links:

6th form students celebrate launch of SPC

Winchester MP supports SPC launch

About the Southern Policy Centre