Thomas Bridge 06 May 2014

LEPs branded ‘unaccountable’ by council leaders

LEPs branded ‘unaccountable’ by council leaders image

County councils have expressed concern that Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) are impenetrable, under funded and lack transparency.

A survey of county and county unitary authority leaders by the County Councils Network (CCN) has found over three quarters agree or strongly agree that LEPs are unaccountable.

Calling into question the future potential of the economic growth strategy, 62% of respondents said LEPs lack sufficient devolved funds while 42% disagree or strongly disagree with the idea that LEPs provide strong or inclusive decision-making.

Leaders highlighted that overlapping LEPs are thought of as particularly complex and difficult to work through.

However, further findings from the CCN survey reveal 43% of responding county leaders agree or strongly agree their LEPs will support the creation of new projects. Over half also stated the partnerships had significantly increased the availability of local training opportunities for young people.

‘LEPs need to streamline their decision-making while ensuring their work is tailored to local needs. Equally, they need the devolved funding and powers to get the job done,’ CCN spokesman for economic growth, Cllr Jim Harker, said.

‘The Local Growth Fund is a good start, but we need to see central Government devolving budgets where it makes sense to do so, particularly in areas like skills.’

‘We shouldn't risk creating a two speed recovery, particularly when county area economies generate over half of England’s GVA. All areas should have the same chance to support the creation of prosperity in their communities.’

Responding to the survey, a Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: 'Local enterprise partnerships are proving their worth. Designed and run locally, in contrast to the distant and unwieldy Regional Development Agencies, they are accountable through the elected council that co-chairs them.

'Local enterprise partnerships are helping rebalance the economy so that it can achieve strong, lasting growth led by the private sector, and share prosperity across the country. The Government is investing £4bn through our growth programmes, supporting thousands of local businesses, securing billions in private sector investment, boosting skills and creating tens of thousands of much needed local jobs.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Operating officer (s151)

Cornwall Council
Up to £148k + relocation
Cornwall is a place that is forging ahead in the 21st Century. Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Council

Assistant Housing Officer x 2 vacancies

Dover District Council
£20,102- £23,077
We are looking to recruit dynamic, skilled and high performing individuals who share our commitment to delivering excellence Dover, Kent
Recuriter: Dover District Council

Estate Assistant x 2 vacancies

Dover District Council
£17,890 - £20,037
We are looking to recruit dynamic, skilled and high performing individuals who share our commitment to delivering excellence Dover, Kent
Recuriter: Dover District Council

Surveyor – Planned works

Dover District Council
£34,924 - £40,746 (pro-rated for part time post)
We are looking to recruit dynamic and skilled individuals who share our commitment to delivering excellence Dover, Kent
Recuriter: Dover District Council

M&E Engineer

Dover District Council
£34,924 - £40,746
We are looking to recruit dynamic and skilled individuals who share our commitment to delivering excellence Dover, Kent
Recuriter: Dover District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue