Hampshire faces criticism for unitary council plans

Plans to restructure local government in Hampshire into a unitary council have been criticised as being ‘unwieldy’.

Hampshire County Council announced that it would consult on the restructure, which could take the form of a single unitary option or two combined authorities covering the Solent region and the heart of Hampshire.

However, council leaders have described the idea of a unitary council as ‘localism in reverse’.

Leaders of East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth and Southampton councils released a joint statement condemning the plan which they claim ‘exceeds the government's own standards for scale and manageability’ and would further distance local populations from services.