Ministers have published plans to ‘super charge’ the performance and accountability of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) following a review.
The review follows concerns that England’s 38 LEPs are too complex, have poor governance structures and lack accountability.
Areas where two LEP geographies overlap have been asked to submit proposals for revised boundaries.
District Councils’ Network spokesman, Cllr Mark Crane, said: ‘We remain concerned that the removal of overlaps may limit the ability of district councils to drive growth across multiple LEP areas.’
LEPs will receive up to £20m of additional funding between 2018 and 2020 to support changes and embed their work into local industrial strategies.
Reforms also include getting LEPs to consult ‘widely and transparently’ on the appointment of new chairs, as well as measures to improve board diversity.
In particular, there is an expectation that women will make up at least one-third of LEP board members by 2020 and half of all board members by 2023.