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LEP policy approach ‘uncoordinated’ – MPs

The Government’s local enterprise partnership (LEP) policy has been criticised for poor communication and an “uncoordinated” approach.

The all-party parliamentary group for local growth, LEPs and enterprise zones has produced a report detailing eight recommendations for Government to improve these relationships.

These include a more stable policy environment, greater access to data and a commitment to core funding from Government, to ensure LEPs can operate independently.

The relationship between BIS, DCLG and the Treasury needs improvement, the report suggests, as it currently results in delays and unrealistic expectations about what can be achieved.

The committee heard from one LEP that: “Lack of communication with the Treasury is a real issue. There is still a tendency for departments to act as ‘gatekeepers’ rather than develop a more ‘partnership-based’ culture.”

Chair of the committee Brandon Lewis MP, said: “Economic growth and getting the economy moving is the only game in town so the recommendations of this report are both timely and hugely important.

“Much has been achieved but the findings of this report show that there are clearly still gaps and weaknesses that all parties including government must address as a matter of urgency.

“I would urge government to consider and accept these recommendations so that improvements can be taken forward.”

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