William Eichler 23 January 2017

Whitehall’s industrial strategy must be ‘locally led’, think tank says

Whitehall’s industrial strategy must be ‘locally led’, think tank says image

The Government’s industrial strategy must be led locally, think tank says as Whitehall announces a £556m cash boost for the Northern Powerhouse.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting in the north west, Theresa May today announced the publication of the Government’s industrial strategy green paper, Building our Industrial Strategy: 10 pillars.

The prime minister said it would ‘drive growth across the whole country’ and create ‘more high skilled, high paid jobs and opportunities’ as part of her Plan for Britain.

A central part of the strategy is an offer to businesses to strike new ‘Sector Deals’.

As part of these deals – designed to address sector-specific challenges – the PM would offer support such as addressing regulation barriers, encouraging exports and creating new institutions to provide leadership, support innovation or boost skills.

‘The modern industrial strategy will back Britain for the long term: creating the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and backing them to invest in the long-term future of our country,’ Ms May said.

‘It will be underpinned by a new approach to government, not just stepping back but stepping up to a new, active role that backs business and ensures more people in all corners of the country share in the benefits of its success.’

The green paper set out ten strategic pillars that would underpin the strategy, including investment in science, research and innovation, developing skills and upgrading infrastructure.

It also included £556m for the Northern Powerhouse to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.

Welcoming the publication of the green paper, Localis chief executive, Liam Booth-Smith, warned the industrial strategy could only be successful if it was locally led.

‘All of this must be underpinned by local leadership. Business secretary Greg Clark has already said that for an industrial strategy to be successful it must be led locally,’ Mr Booth-Smith said.

‘The prime minister should use the opportunity created by the green paper to plan a new industrial compact, a contract with those places in the UK with highest economic potential, to give new powers to city and regional leaders to ensure they can deliver on her vision.’

‘Such a move would be the largest single transfer of power since the first meeting of the Scottish parliament in Holyrood in 1999,’ he added.

However, Labour was more sceptical about the strategy, describing the move as ‘too little, too late’.

Clive Lewis, shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: ‘This belated attempt to develop a proper industrial strategy is a step in the right direction, but once again what the Tories are offering looks like too little too late.

‘We await further detail, but what’s been announced so far will fall far short of getting us back to where we were in 2010, let alone equip our economy for the challenges of the 21st Century.’

Mr Lewis warned there were ‘too many people on the Tory benches who think that the only role of Government is to deregulate markets.’

Referring to Theresa May’s threat last week that Britain would leave the EU and reduce corporation tax if a satisfactory Brexit deal could not be struck, Mr Lewis added: ‘The reality is that a prime minister who wants to turn us into a tax haven cannot be trusted to deliver an industrial strategy.’

It’s party time image

It’s party time

Paul Marinko tries to help the sector navigate the web of policy commitments for local government on offer after 12 December.
Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness image

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness

With the support of stakeholders, including forward-thinking local authorities, Beam’s innovative support model ‘swiftly removes every barrier faced by homeless people from entering the workforce’, says Seb Barker.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Permanence

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum
To be successful in this role you will need great negotiation and influencing skills and ability to deal with conflict, hostility and vulnerability. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Head of Looked After Children, Permanence & Specialist Services

London Borough of Bexley
Up to £86,040 p.a
If this sounds exciting and reassuring, we want you to get in touch with us. Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Primary locations will include Clacton and Harlow only. Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part tim England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Trainee Craft Employee x6

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£18,795 - £19,945 per annum
Seeking to recruit several Trainee Carpenters within the Asset Management and Maintenance Service. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£26001.0 - £30000.0 per annum
Please note this role is based in Clacton and is open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs). The starting salary for NQSWs is £27,775 per annum an England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County 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