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Northern Powerhouse LEPs failing to share prosperity benefits

Economic inclusion is as import as a growth in prosperity for measuring the success of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), a new study says.

The study is based on the Inclusive Growth Monitor, a new tool developed by researchers from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the University of Manchester. It uses measures of prosperity such as output, employment and wages, and also measures of inclusion such as the number of people in benefits and housing costs.

Some of the LEPs with the highest growth in prosperity had the lowest growth in inclusion, particularly in the Northern Powerhouse, leading researchers to caution that more priority must be given to economic equality in boosting the growth of the north.

Dave Innes, policy and research manager for economics at JRF, said: “The Northern Powerhouse is enjoying resurgent prosperity, which is clearly welcome news. But the aim for city leaders should be to make cities more inclusive as well as prosperous.

“Other regions have outperformed them on inclusion – incomes at the bottom of the distribution, unemployment and the cost of living – over the last few years. Looking forward, city leaders should focus on making sure this is shared by all within their city regions – reaching the people and places who have traditionally been left behind.”

For example, out of the 39 LEPs, in 2010-14 Greater Manchester had the eighth highest growth in prosperity, with a growth of 4.9, but was ranked eleventh lowest for growth in inclusion, with a score of 4.1.

It was followed by Sheffield, which had a 4.5 increase in prosperity, but was also in the bottom half for growth in inclusion, with a 4.2 increase.

London had the highest growth in prosperity by a wide margin, scoring 6.6, and the lowest in inclusion, with an increase of just 2.8, raising concerns about its suitability as a role model for devolution.

After London, the LEPs with the highest growths in prosperity were Oxfordshire (5.8) and Dorset (5.6), while those that saw the lowest growth were Lancashire (3.0) and the Black Country and Greater Lincolnshire (3.1 each).

The report follows research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, released in March, which found that 10 of the country’s 12 most struggling cities are in the north despite efforts to boost the Northern Powerhouse.

A recent National Audit Office report also found that the government is failing to scrutinise LEP Growth Deals and clarify how they fit in with the devolution agenda.

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Cllr Laurence Keeley   29/05/2016 at 08:19

I asked the leader of East Sussex County Council if, with all houses the Government are putting on East Sussex,could he guarantee the capital for the Local Infrastructure required would be forth coming.he he could not Guarantee this. I went from Euston to Manchester in 2 hours 9 minute a couple weeks ago,why do we need HS2? campaign to stop this plan and use that capital for local infrastructure.

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