Deal or No Deal? decide for yourself...

  • 7 March 2017
  • From the section Surrey
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Media captionSurrey Council boss on social care 'agreement'

From the PM down, the government says it won't do deals.

But they were desperate to stop Surrey's referendum on a 15% council tax hike.

So David Hodge boasts to his councillors he's got a last minute "arrangement". A gentleman's agreement.

You have nothing in writing one of his councillors points out on the leaked recording of their crunch meeting. Don't worry he says - name dropping the people he's spoken to. And it's backed by recordings of phone calls, some lasting two hours, and on top of that some written assurances.

But whatever you do, he stresses, don't tell anybody what we've got. "Keep those poker faces" his councillors are urged as they walk out of the supposedly private meeting.

Read full article Deal or No Deal? decide for yourself...

Julian Lewis, one-man nuclear weapon

Dr Julian Lewis Image copyright Julian Lewis
Image caption Dr Julian Lewis MP is the newly-elected chair of the Defence Select Committee

The Hampshire MP Julian Lewis has a logical, methodical approach. But don't mistake that for timidity. When his sense of order is offended he strikes back, hard.

He is probably the strongest defender of Britain's nuclear deterrent in the House of Commons, and when reports of a failed Trident missile test appeared to have been kept secret within government he moved swiftly.

Read full article Julian Lewis, one-man nuclear weapon

Dibden Bay is back - plans to double Southampton's port

Phillip Hammond visits Southampton docks
Image caption Chancellor Phillip Hammond visited Southampton docks earlier

The chief executive of Associated British Ports (ABP) has said the company will be seeking permission for a major expansion of Southampton Docks.

The Dibden Bay development would double the size of the existing docks by using reclaimed land on the New Forest side of Southampton Water.

Read full article Dibden Bay is back - plans to double Southampton's port

Did Corbyn succeed in the South?

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright PA
Image caption The "fear of Corbyn's dangerous, unrealistic strategy seems distant and London-centric"

It's the old mystery of the dog that didn't bark. The London-based political world really did think Jeremy Corbyn was about to disappear down the drain, especially in the Blairite, aspirational south of England. He didn't.

So the plans, and they were real plans, to get rid of Corbyn have to wait. That is a real, tangible, huge lifeline he's been thrown by the voters of Reading, Southampton and Portsmouth, much to the annoyance of many in his own party.

Read full article Did Corbyn succeed in the South?

Top priority - getting the bins right

Bins
Image caption It will take more than a month for Isle of Wight Council to deliver wheelie bins to every household

It's the big bin delivery!

The Isle of Wight Council is used to organising collection of recycling and rubbish, but now it is switching to wheelie bins and it has got to work out a way to get at least one, maybe two bins, to every household.

Read full article Top priority - getting the bins right

Death of the Southern Shire Powerhouses

David Cameron Image copyright PA
Image caption The prime minister has had his say on plans to shake up councils in Oxfordshire

When your local MP is the prime minister it can be a blessing and a curse. Just ask Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council.

On devolution he thought he had the agreement of his district councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the backing of Oxfordshire MPs to join the auction of promises that the negotiation is turning into.

Read full article Death of the Southern Shire Powerhouses

How much does the EU cost in the South?

EU flag Image copyright Getty Images

During this referendum campaign you will hear many claims of how much the EU costs, and how much benefit we derive.

Some will be in Euros, some in Sterling, some will be real-terms adjusted for inflation, others will be back-of-the fag packet guesstimates.

Read full article How much does the EU cost in the South?

Deal or No Deal with council cash

Deal or No Deal Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Councils are having to decide what deal to take in the face of tough budget decisions

The annual sharing out of cash for local services is always fraught, and never seen as fair.

The mandarins in Whitehall call it The Settlement - as if funds were being bestowed by some aged aunt on her poor country cousins.

Read full article Deal or No Deal with council cash

Are new Clean Air Zones voluntary?

Plans to tax diesel lorries for entering city centres have been thrown into confusion after one of the cities ordered to bring in the charge have insisted it should be "voluntary".

Last year the government ordered a clean air zone be imposed by five cities in the UK where pollution was highest.

Read full article Are new Clean Air Zones voluntary?

Portsmouth theatres in the spotlight

Outside of New Theatre Royal Image copyright New Theatre Royal
Image caption The New Theatre Royal reopened last year after a £4.5m revamp

They're national treasures. Not just the actress Sheila Hancock, but the theatre where she began her work in the 1950s - the Kings Theatre in Southsea and the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth.

Both got a mention from MP Will Quince as he brought the curtain up on a new season of Westminster Hall debates in Parliament.

Read full article Portsmouth theatres in the spotlight