Leaders, Chief Executives and colleagues from three County Councils, 23 District and Borough Councils, the South Downs National Park, East Sussex Fire Authority and the three Local Enterprise Partnerships gathered in Horsham for a seminar to discuss the vision for devolution in the region last week.
They agreed there would be real benefits for residents and businesses from a successful 3SC bid. Delegates asserted that confidence, boldness and ambition are needed to develop the right final proposal.
Councillor Louise Goldsmith, spokesperson for the bid and leader of West Sussex County Council, sent this message to delegates after the event.
“Firstly, I would just like to thank everyone who gave up their time last Friday to attend the 3SC Seminar. It was really good to have so many partners in the room to share their views around the 3SC proposition and the potential significant benefits for residents and for our businesses too.
“We all accepted that there is more work to be done and we have to take a long-term view, but more importantly we are already beginning to see benefits of the burgeoning relationship which we hope will grow and develop.
“As we all agreed our 3SC bid is big and commensurate with the wins or gains, which is indeed why we were all in the room. I thought it would be useful to remind you of the five key themes endorsed:
- We recognise that there is healthy scepticism but we can be pragmatic and see whether the deal is worthwhile.
- Success will be delivering real tangible benefits for residents and businesses – and that is the prize. Failure would be our inability to put together a strong devolution bid that benefits residents and businesses.
- Need to be bold and make sure we demand what we need. Growth and prosperity are central.
- Strong and fair governance are needed but not at the expense of making progress – importantly, we need to work together and build confidence. Pragmatic and get on with it.
- Our destiny is in our hands: the onus is on us to lead our way through the challenges. We can take control and make progress. So let’s get on with it.
“There is much for us to do, however, with the commitment in the room last Friday and the potential gains for our residents and area it was evident we are now committed to working together on the next phase when we meet again in July.”