There will be no more devolution without the backing of business via Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), local government secretary Greg Clark has announced.
In a speech to the LEPs Network this week, the secretary of state said local authorities wanting further devolution would have to pursue changes with support of their local LEPs and on the basis of the current shape of the LEP boundaries.
‘These partnerships created between local businesses and local government have completely changed the way investment and growth is done in this country,’ Clark said.
‘You have worked together to create economic growth and jobs and we want to see more of this. There is now much more collaboration between business and local authorities, which is vindication that the model works.
‘The areas that combined authorities are now following are the same areas defined by the LEPs as being the true economic geography of our nation. As such no devolution deal will be signed off unless it is absolutely clear that the LEPs will be at the heart of arrangements.’