"As most of us are used to a more corporatist model, the government's thinking is hard to follow. Those who want to understand the thinking behind it should read the Department for Business Innovation and Skills economic paper "Understanding Local Growth" also published this month. Without an economics background, this paper is hard going, but the important bit is the table on page 10. That shows that productivity per person has actually fallen during the years in which the RDAs existed in every region except London and the South-East and that growth has been appreciably slower outside those regions. That paper taken as a whole has convinced me of the need to try something else."
That "something else" are to be Local Enterprise Partnerships ("LEP"), boards of local business leaders and authorities who will work together to promote sustainable growth and jobs in their local areas. I discussed LEPs in some detail in my article "Local Enterprise Partnerships Begin to Take Shape" on 21 Oct 2010.
The Government has accepted two proposals for LEPs in Yorkshire and the Humber:
- The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Local Enterprise Partnership; and
- The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
Leeds LEP has just appointed its chairperson, Mr. Neil McLean, a partner of the law firm DLA Piper which actually started in Leeds as Dibb Lupton not too long ago. Mr. McLean's appointment has been welcomed by local businesses and councils.
Sheffield has actually appointed its full board which held its first meeting on 20 Dec 2010. It is now working on its business plan. The government has announced a £4 million fund to to help with analytic services (see "New Fund for LEPs Announced" J4B Grants 7 Jan 2011).
We shall keep you posted on developments.