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Levelling Up

Levelling up: making the case for investment in the central South This new report from Southern Policy Centre was launched on July 30th 2021 and asks whether the central South risks losing out to areas in the Midlands and the North in the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. There is a widely held assumption that all areas in the supposedly affluent South East experience the positive effects of prosperity but SPC research suggests that some areas of the population experience poor…

Tomorrow’s City Centre

Tomorrow’s City Centre A project in partnership with Blake Morgan   On November 20th 2020, Blake Morgan and the Southern Policy Centre launched their research report exploring the future of the central South’s city centres. We were joined by Andrew Carter from the Centre for Cities and over 100 participants from across the region – representing councils, businesses and the community. Our report and the lively discussion at its launch demonstrated there is a real appetite for continuing a broad…

Poverty: Deprivation in the South

Poverty: Deprivation in the South Despite its perceived affluence relative to other parts of the UK, pockets of severe multiple deprivation exist across the South Coast region. The 2018 report ‘Making ends meet: The lived experience of poverty in the south’ offers a timely corrective to over-simplistic ideas of an English North-South divide by highlighting the significance of ‘hidden’ deprivation in affluent areas. It also provides some depth and nuance to our understanding of the broader effects of deprivation, which…

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Recovery in the central South: collaboration for growth

Recovery in the central South: collaboration for growth Click here to read “Recovery in the central South: collaboration for growth” June 2020 Click here to read “Recovery in the central South: an update” March 2021 In June 2020 following a series of consultative seminars, the Southern Policy Centre (SPC) published a short policy paper on Recovery in the central South: collaboration for growth which sought to identify the key issues facing the central South when lockdown is eased and we…

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Barker Mill Estates

Business rate changes across the central South – essential background to the Budget

A new, interactive, map for the Southern Policy Centre provides crucial background to next week’s Budget when Chancellor Philip Hammond is under pressure to moderate big increases. The map, showing average increases and decreases by authority and by sector, highlights the places where rates will go up most. But it also shows that, even in this region, there are areas and businesses that are set to gain from falling rates. How the picture looks after Wednesday will have an impact…

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What do Hampshire businesses want from local government?

Hampshire businesses have had their say in what they want to see from local government and from any devolution deal done with central government: Hampshire businesses want to see a single, simple to engage with local authority, with a more ‘can-do’ approach to business. There is overwhelming support for the devolution of more powers and resources from central government and for a more strategic and integrated approach to economic development, infrastructure, housing, transport and planning. These are two of the…

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Widening participation in Higher Education

New study sheds light on why Southern students miss out on university Over 50 young people every year are missing out on university from just five local government wards in Poole, Hampshire, Southampton, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. And over 100 more should be going to university, according to Government targets. These stark figures were at the centre of a ground-breaking conference being held at Southampton Solent University on Friday 28th October. The conference heard the results of a year-long study…

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Tainting a good idea

Combined authorities in the balance It may be Budget day before we learn whether any part of central southern England will reach agreement with the government on a ‘devolution deal’.  But the chaotic process of recent months may have damaged the credibility of what is, at its heart, a very good idea. In the past few weeks, the Hampshire and Isle of Combined Authority, widely regarded as the best developed and most widely supported devolution proposal, apparently stalled. Negotiations then…

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Assembly South report

Assembly South report Introduction Assembly South was part of an important new experiment in how to organise democracy effectively. It consisted of a group of 23 citizens and 6 councillors from the Solent and Isle of Wight area who met in Southampton over two weekends in October and November 2015 to discuss the future of local governance. The aim was to select the citizens randomly to be broadly representative of the local adult population. During the two weekends, they learned…

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