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LEPs must be ‘at the heart’ of any devolution deal – Clark

Local enterprise partnerships have to be “at the heart” of any devolution proposals, according to the communities secretary.

Speaking to the LEP Network last week, Greg Clark said that combined authorities are now following the same areas defined by LEPs as these represent the “true economic geography of our nation”.

No devolution deal will be signed off “unless it is absolutely clear LEPs will also be at the heart of arrangements”.

Clark described the partnerships between councils and businesses as a “phenomenal revolution” that has completely changed the way investment and growth is done.

“You have worked together to create economic growth and jobs and we want to see more of this,” he said. “There is now much more collaboration between business and local authorities, which is vindication that the model works.”

The Cities & Local Government Devolution Bill continues its passage through Parliament and discussions in the committee stage in the House of Lords are set to continue reconvene today.

As PSE has already reported, it emerged during the Lords discussions last week that decisions made by Greater Manchester under their devolved health and social care powers could be overturned by the health secretary if he disagrees with them.

(Image source: LEP Network)

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