The coalition’s growth guru Lord Heseltine has dismissed concerns about local enterprise partnerships’ (LEP) lack of accountability.
Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine and cities minister Greg Clark have just decided how much each LEP is to be given from the Local Growth Fund, an annual £2bn pot of government money.
But responding to criticism of the move in an interview with a national newspaper, the 81-year-old Conservative peer said: ‘There cannot be a LEP bid without sign-up from local authorities.
‘There cannot be acceptance of [funding] without sign-up from central government so what is the issue?’
Lord Heseltine continued: ‘This is the first time in English history in which the people who actually create the jobs [and] the wealth have been invited to play a decisive role in formulating the economic strategy.
‘[Localism] can no longer be dismissed as wild theory or reckless funding.’