Thomas Bridge 23 February 2015

Pickles attacks ‘corrosive’ lobbying by local enterprise partnerships

Pickles attacks ‘corrosive’ lobbying by local enterprise partnerships image

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) will soon be banned from hiring lobbyists to win government grants, after communities secretary Eric Pickles claimed the practice ‘undermines transparency’.

Ministers are aware of at least six LEPs that have used public funds to hire consultancies to lobby Whitehall on their behalf, a practice banned for local authorities and quangos.

Pickles has today demanded every one of England’s 39 LEPs immediately terminates the contract of any lobbyists ‘on the books’, while outlining a new clause to clamp down on their use.

The so called ‘sock puppet clause’ will ensure grant payments do not support any activity that could influence Parliament, Government or political parties.

‘There’s nothing wrong with private organisations using their own money to hire commercial firms for advice, provided it’s done in an open and transparent manner. But it’s a wasteful, corrosive and zero sum game for the public sector to be using lobbyists, and just leads to higher taxes and more red tape. The public sector never lobbies for lower taxes and less state spending,’ Pickles said.

‘My department will be the first in Whitehall to introduce a no-lobbying clause in all grant agreements. If external groups are lucky enough to receive grants or win contracts with taxpayers’ money, it shouldn’t be spent on lobbying for more taxpayers’ money or more red tape. I hope we will can roll this out across central government, standing up for value for money and reining in the bureaucratic state.’

The communities secretary urged the country’s LEPs to ‘pick up the phone’ if they wanted to raise any issues with central government.

Cities minister, Greg Clark, added: ‘Local enterprise partnerships should follow the principles that apply to government and local authorities, which prevents any expenditure incurred in retaining the services of lobbyists to influence public officials, members of Parliament, political parties or the government.

‘If local enterprise partnerships have any specific concerns or points they would like to put across to government then they can easily talk directly to myself, other ministers or officials. This will both be more effective, and ensure appropriate use of public funds.’

Best practice in resident ballots image

Best practice in resident ballots

Residents on the South Kilburn Estate overwhelmingly voted in favour of council plans to regenerate their neighbourhood in October 2019. Brent’s strategic director for regeneration and environment Amar Dave shares the lessons learned for other landlords holding resident ballots.
Highways jobs

Senior Manager – Older Adults – Residential Care

Cumbria County Council
£68,709 - £71,218
This pivotal role requires leadership and management of the Council's twenty in house Residential Care services Carlisle, Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Co-ordinators

Buckinghamshire Council
£30,874 - £37,188 per annum
Interested in a career as an EHC Coordinator? Come along to our drop-in event to meet members of the SEND team and find out more about the role! England, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
Recuriter: Buckinghamshire Council

Children's Assistant Team Managers - Childrens Looked After Team

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
Up to £46,347 Plus £2,000 welcome payment
As an Assistant Team Manager in LAC service you will have a major contribution to make to the delivery of our vision and strategic priorities, by... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Practitioner

Redbridge London Borough Council
£39,774 - £42,684 per annum plus 3,000 R&R
Looking to recruit a highly motivated qualified Social Worker who is ready to take the next step in their career progression as a... Ilford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Interim Head of Corporate and Customer Services

West Lancashire Borough Council
£56,093 to £56,943 per annum
Looking for an experienced dynamic leader to join our team and drive a culture of commercial development, service improvement, and... Lancashire
Recuriter: West Lancashire Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine