A devolution bid has been submitted to Government to transfer more powers and decision-making to the region, boosting productivity and economic growth in three of England’s strongest performing counties, East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey.
The Three Southern Counties, or the 3SC, comprise 26 local authorities, three Local Enterprise Partnerships, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Authority and the South Downs National Park.
The combined Gross Value Added (GVA) of Sussex and Surrey is £67.3 billion which is bigger than both the whole of Wales (£52 billion) and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (£56 billion).
The population (2,507,900) is comparable to that of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (2,714,900). The population is forecast to rise to almost three million by 2037. At the heart of our devolution offer is a commitment to work with Government to deliver strong and sustainable economic growth, enhance productivity, transform public services and build on our track record for fiscal efficiency.
The 3SC devolution bid, unlike any other, will provide a financial return for the UK, as well as huge benefits for local residents and businesses – helping drive the economy forward, while also making our area a better place to live, work and visit.
Across Surrey and Sussex, it will:
- transform services to deliver the very best for our residents, businesses and communities, today, tomorrow and for generations to come
- create more diverse and skilled employment opportunities
- deliver approximately 120,000 new homes and 142,000 new jobs
- improve road and rail infrastructure
- tackle pockets of poverty
- mean the infrastructure funding gap could be closed if just £1 in every £10 from the extra taxes raised by the planned growth were invested in the area.
Nationally it will deliver a fiscal dividend of £1.1 billion for the country’s economy every year by 2030.
The 3SC already contributes more to the UK economy than Wales or the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its continued prosperity is vital to the nation’s future economic success.
We face a number of critical issues – ageing infrastructure, a skills shortage and population growth. We can only develop the area’s industrial strength if we invest now.
Our proposals are ambitious and far reaching. They highlight how central and local government can work together to create sustainable economic growth in a way not seen before, to benefit residents and businesses across our area and the UK as a whole.
Further information can be found here.