William Eichler 20 December 2016

LEPs must be more transparent, says pressure group

There should be more transparency in how taxpayers’ money is spent by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), pressure group urges.

A recent report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into the Government’s devolution agenda criticised the ‘opaque’ nature of accountability for the activities of LEPs.

Mike Cherry, the national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), welcomed the PAC’s comments on LEPs, describing them as ‘a welcome step forward.’

‘FSB has campaigned hard for LEPs to be more transparent in how they work,’ he said.

‘The need for greater LEP accountability has never been more pressing as the partnerships are set to receive increased funding over the coming years.’

Mr Cherry said the Government should insist LEPs publish a register of business interests and appoint a small business champion to their Board.

While recognising a number of LEPs had ‘proven effective at driving growth’, he said more must be done to ensure they are ‘delivering for their local economies.’

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