Jonathan Werran 02 March 2015

Think tank calls for further devolution to LEPs

Devolving greater power to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) could boost the economy by £144bn, a report from think tank Localis is arguing.

The report calls for the 39 LEPs to be given double the amount of annual funding and for council leaders to be given the right to sign-off on LEP budgets to boost democratic oversight.

It says that this could see the size of the English economy increase from £1,600bn GVA to £1,744bn by 2020.

the report, The Next LEPs, also calls for skills funding to be devolved by abolishing the Skills Funding Agency and giving LEPs control of its £4bn budget.

Localis chief executive, Alex Thomson, said: ‘The key finding of the report is that LEPs need to remain nimble and unbureaucratic, while retaining their crucial strategic input into local economies.’

‘Our research shows that they have the potential to make a massive impact on our national economy in the next parliament if they get the devolution they’re looking for.’

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