Published: 8th Feb 2011

So, this whole LEP business – how has it been for you? To begin with, the Pickles/Cable letter of invitation got some people quite excited.  It was a chance to finally define spatial areas that made sense in terms of economic development strategies, policies and activities.  It was therefore perhaps unfortunate that my own straw poll of contacts in economic development/regeneration in about a dozen local authorities around the country revealed that not one was involved in discussions about their LEP. So far as most of them were aware, this was a matter for chief executives and leaders; in other words a decision seemingly based on a political and not necessarily economic development rationale. Next came the partnering bit.  As might have been expected, there were some natural alliances between local authorities either with some history of collaboration or a longstanding ambition to work together on a more formal basis.  … (To read the full article, subscribe below)