Laura Sharman 08 May 2014

LEPs failing ‘resilience’ test warns think tank

LEPs failing ‘resilience’ test warns think tank image

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are failing to plan for long-term success, instead choosing to pursue short-term growth, according to a new report from a think tank.

The report from IPPR North reveals that only two in five of LEPS have plans to address long-term unemployment, with only four out of the 39 developing plans that learn from the recent recession.

The report also says that the way in which LEPs compete for funding through the Local Growth Fund is leading them to develop plans that suits the government’s definition of growth rather than focusing on long-term sustainability.

Ed Cox, director of IPPR North said: ‘The recession has been devastating for many areas of the country and it is important that we learn the lessons from it. George Osborne claims to be pursuing a ‘long-term economic plan’ but the pursuit of short-term economic growth at all costs is defeating this purpose.

‘While it's tempting to rush for growth, the primary lesson of the downturn shouldn't be lost. We must build local economies that can withstand the kind of shocks that have been experienced in the recent past.’

The report calls for LEP plans to focus on long-term unemployment, infrastructure, business and citizen engagement, and environmental priorities.

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