ROMSEY’S MP has dismissed current proposals to create a 'Southern Powerhouse' which could split the county in two as “back-of-a-fag-packet accounting”.

Although plans to create a super council, dubbed the 'Solent Combined Authority', were announced last week, Caroline Nokes said she only came across the documentation last week.

It comes nearly a week after the government met council bosses to discuss a Solent combined authority between Southampton, Portsmouth and Eastleigh, led by an elected mayor.

Hampshire County Council had previously put forward a devolution bid that would have involved all 15 councils in the county including Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

But council chiefs from Test Valley, along with those from across mid and north Hampshire, were left in the dark about last week’s meeting with officials from the Treasury and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Ms Nokes has raised concerns and said she would not support the scheme at this stage.

She said: “As one of the MPs [on the boundaries of the authority], I wasn’t sent any documentation about it until [Wednesday]. It’s back-of-a-fag-packet accounting."

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She added: “It just strikes me that this is a weird and wonderful idea that’s been drawn up at the eleventh hour.

“Romsey has been excluded, not even consulted.

"None of us were even informed of this, let alone asked to be part of it.

"I think we have very little in common with a massive single city.”

It is understood the government could offer them a separate devolution deal stretching further into north Hampshire.

It follows a stall in negotiations over the idea of a Boris Johnson-style metro mayor, which many local leaders feel would cover too wide an area.

A DCLG spokesman said: “The government’s devolution agenda offers a real opportunity for local areas to take greater control of their future – and we are discussing this with local partners across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“We have always been clear this is a bottom-up process and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, with every deal bespoke and providing arrangements that are relevant to each local area.

“We look forward to continuing constructive discussions on devolution with local partners across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as their proposals develop.”