Business Leaders and Local Authorities gather to discuss Local Enterprise Partnerships

July 28th, 2010

news-imageMinister for Regional and local economic development, Mark Prisk and Minister for Decentralisation, Greg Clark, today hosted a round table event with business groups, local authorities and think tanks to listen to their views on the creation of local enterprise partnerships.

Attendees included representatives from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI); Federation of Small Businesses (FSB); British Chambers of Commerce; Engineering Employers Federation (EEF); Institute of Directors (IoD); Local Authority Councillors and Chief Executives; the Local Government Association (LGA); Core Cities; Centre for Cities; New Local Government Network (NLGN); and Local Government Improvement and Development.

Representatives discussed the issues and opportunities they see arising from the new structures and highlighted their areas’ priorities for growth. They also talked about issues in relation to the size, scope and geography they would want from a local enterprise partnership.

Speaking after the meeting, Mark Prisk said:

“Our structural reforms call for a bottom-up approach. It’s crucial that local authorities and business work hand-in-hand to establish proposals for enterprise partnerships. Together they have the insight and understanding to set out a vision for a strong local economic future, and then decide what structures can best achieve that vision.

“Today’s positive meeting saw business and council leaders engage in a helpful conversation about forming effective partnerships that can provide real strategic leadership and drive local economic growth. I was grateful to hear their views and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of our discussion in action over the coming weeks and months.”

Greg Clark said:

“The arbitrary division of the country into regions conformed to government bodies rather than natural economic areas. This gives the right of initiative back to councils and businesses to say how they wish to best organise themselves to pursue economic growth.”

In the Coalition agreement, the Government announced that it would abolish the Regional Development Agencies and replace them with local enterprise partnerships – joint local authority and business-led organisations that match economic reality on the ground and can make a real difference.

On 29 June, the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable and Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles wrote to local authorities and businesses inviting them to submit proposals on forming local enterprise partnerships. Today’s meeting was organised to give attendees a further chance to help shape future policy ahead of the 6 September deadline for proposals.

FULL LIST OF ATTENDEES

Local Authorities

South East

Alex King, Deputy Leader – Kent County Council

Michael Coughlin, Chief Executive – Reading Borough Council; Lead Chief Executive – South East Diamonds for Investment and Growth

East Midlands

Jane Todd, Chief Executive – Nottingham City Council

Cllr David Parsons CBE, Leader – Leicestershire County Council

East of England

Cllr Robert Gordon, Leader – Hertfordshire County Council; Chair – East of England Local Government Association (EELGA)

Caroline Tapster, Chief Executive – Hertfordshire County Council; Lead Chief Executive – EELGA


North West

Mike Emmerich, Chief Executive – Manchester’s Commission for the New Economy

Ged Fitzgerald, Chief Executive – Lancashire County Council

North East

Cllr Paul Watson, Chair – Association of North East Councils

John Cuthbert, Chair – Northern Business Forum

West Midlands

Paul Sheehan, Chief Executive – Walsall Council.

Cllr Philip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council; Chair – West Midlands Councils

South West

Phil Norrey, Chief Executive – Devon County Council

Cllr Angus Campbell, Leader – Dorset County Council

Yorkshire and Humber

Cllr Ian Greenwood, Leader – Bradford Council

Kersten England, Chief Executive -York Council

Think tanks, LGA and business organisations

Kevin Hoctor, BCC
Adam Marshall, BCC

Matthew Farrow, CBI
Patrick Newton, CBI

Andrew Carter, Centre for Cities

Chris Murray, Core Cities

Sue Kirby, EEF
Steve Radley, EEF

David Burch, FSB
Matthew Pinner, FSB

Chris Dodson, IoD
Alexander Ehmann, IoD

Phillip Mind, Local Government Association

Ian Woolford, Local Government Improvement and Development

Anna Turley, NLGN


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