The Government has 'no plans' to reduce the number of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).
A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has confirmed ministers would not ‘impose reductions in these locally-defined and voluntary partnerships’.
Former communities secretary Eric Pickles had previously suggested that their number should fall this parliament, and they have been heavily criticised by some over their lack of transparency and accountability.
The National Audit Office’s Aileen Murphie said: ‘Some LEPs work really well but there are some LEPs that are not so energetic.
‘I think there’s an unanswered question about what kind of body LEPs will end up being. I think there are questions too about the areas they cover, how co-terminus they are and how many partners they work with.’