LGA responds to new Government proposals for Local Enterprise Partnerships

"The best local partnerships are created bottom-up and driven by local partners that have the economic well-being of their local communities at the heart of what they do."


York

“The LGA has long argued that a strong national economy requires all parts of the country to be able to perform to their full potential. In partnership with representatives from the LEP Network we recently asked the Secretary of State to confirm that every area will be invited to develop a Local Industrial Strategy backed by government support. We are therefore pleased that the Government has listened to our joint calls and confirmed that this will be the case.

“However, in striving for inclusive growth, effective and accountable partnerships are needed between business and local communities, as represented by local government. The Government’s proposals on LEP board composition risk diluting both the views of local people and undermining the role and investment that local authorities make in the success of their local economies.

“The best local partnerships are created bottom-up and driven by local partners that have the economic well-being of their local communities at the heart of what they do. While it is important the structure and governance of LEPs reflects the need for transparency and accountability highlighted by the Ney Review, on their own these changes will do little to help the country to match the productivity levels of its rivals. There remains a massive skills gap between the needs of the economy and current skills levels across the country.

“Only a devolved, streamlined, local solution to skills provision can help bridge the productivity gap globally. This must be backed by a UK Shared Prosperity Fund that is at least equal quantum to current EU funds and that does not result in a gap at the end of EU funding. This fund should be flexible, localised, and based on the needs of local places and communities.”