Published: 3rd Jun 2011

The greater flexibility that devolution has brought to Wales exposes the shortcomings of England’s approach to economic development, says Matthew Jackson The last year has seen a frenetic period of policymaking in England around the role of local economic development. We have seen the shift from regional development agencies (RDAs) to local enterprise partnerships (LEPs); the end of special initiatives such as Working Neighbourhoods Fund; the introduction of competitive bidding for the Work Programme and the Regional Growth Fund; and the removal of a target-driven culture. In all of this the role of local authority economic development functions has moved towards a strategic enabler of local economic, social and environmental benefit; as opposed to a direct deliverer. Part of the challenge for local economic development practitioners is that new policy from government in England has not come with the required flexibility in terms of devolved economic development powers. This is … (To read the full article, subscribe below)