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News - 15 May 2014

Former minister urges Local Enterprise Partnerships shake up.

In a report for the Smith Institute think-tank, former Labour housing minister John Healey has called for a radical reform to the role of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), including giving councils sign-off of economic strategies, which is needed to tackle the north-south divide.

In the report it says that there are currently 39 LEPs in England, but they should be reduced in number to ensure they match functional economic areas and can be given more resources to act as a ‘bedrock’ for local growth powers, with town halls being able to sign-off on the LEPs’ strategies as part of the bid process to access funding from the government’s £2bn.

Currently, local authorities have input to the growth plans as members of the LEP, but do not give final, formal approval.

Healey said the central challenge for the next government would be to build a balanced and lasting recovery across the whole country. Although the creation of LEPs was flawed, a future
Labour government should look to reform the existing bodies rather than creating new agencies.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“The “Making local economies matter’ report also recommends a call for a single government department to be given responsibility for LEPs to provide greater clarity on the role of bodies. Details were also required on how LEPs work with cities that have signed City Deals with government, and those that had formed combined authorities.”

In a joint foreword, Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls and shadow infrastructure minister Lord Andrew Adonis said the report set out the potential partnerships needed to make cities and towns ‘more effective engines of growth’.
 ‘The report provides three clear insights into how we can strengthen local economic leadership.

Responding to the report, Graeme McDonald, the director of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, said he agreed there was an urgent need to realign LEP boundaries.
“Economic success comes from the hard work of local communities, not the corridors of Whitehall.”

If you need any help and advice for your business on Tax, VAT or the implications of Government Funding initiatives, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business
 

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