Published: 1st Jul 2011

Karen Leach reveals what proposals from local enterprise partnerships in the west midlands tell us about their priorities Community-scale economic power, local production and resource management are central concepts in sustainable development. Ignoring these leaves the country lacking in economic diversity, locally impoverished, unimaginative and vulnerable to global economic change. Mindful of a historic Birmingham tendency to equate ‘big’ with ‘strategic’, and ignore the combined potential and distinctiveness of the small scale (picked up more tactfully by Sir Michael Lyons in recent city plans), Localise West Midlands has examined how our region’s six LEPs propose to support local economic renewal and sustainable development, assessing the original proposals against a set of localisation indicators. LEPs are still developing beyond their original proposals – but the study is intended to identify early weaknesses in aspiration and encourage them to be addressed in practice.