New DCLG minister backs call for LEPs to be funded

  • Local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) need more substantial funding and greater powers if they are to succeed, a report overseen by new local government minister Brandon Lewis prior to his appointment has warned.

    The report by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on local growth, launched last night, also says LEPs should "collaborate across boundaries, particularly on strategic planning, transport, housing and infrastructure".

    LEPs were set up two years ago as business-led, mostly self-financing public-private bodies to replace regional developments agencies in driving economic growth at a local level.

    The APPG report says that progress has been made, but it includes a 12-point plan with recommendations for the government, local authorites and LEPs outlining how the bodies can be more effective.

    A key recommendations is that the government "should commit to providing a modest amount of core funding" to LEPs so that they can have "a basic level of staffing" and "act independently".

    After they were established, the government announced that all 38 LEPs could bid from a £4million 'capacity fund' to help their development. They have also been able to spend £500 million of Growing Places Fund cash on local infrastructure projects.

    The report also asks the government to negotiate City Deal-style "local growth deals" to devolve funding and powers to LEP areas, as well as to allow LEPs "to play a greater coordinating role on work and skills provision in their areas".

    The APPG was chaired by Lewis, a Conservative, until he was appointed last week as a local government minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government.
    Lewis said:

           "Economic growth and getting the economy moving is the only game in town so the recommendations of this report are both timely and hugely important.

           Much has been achieved but the findings of this report show that there are clearly still gaps and weaknesses that all parties including government must address as a matter of urgency.

           I would urge government to consider and accept these recommendations so that improvements can be taken forward."

    The event featured a keynote speech from communities secretary Eric Pickles, who described the report as "absolutely excellent".
    He said:

            "I'm happy to implement most of the recommendations.

           My advice is the same as I gave when LEPs started: be bold, be brave, look for innovation and don't look for the consent of government."

    Pickles said the government's Growing Places Fund was a "turning point" for LEPs, because it allowed them to spend central government money themselves.

    More than 80 individuals and organisations responded to the three-month inquiry, which was coordinated by Westminster City Council.

    The report can be found here.

    Source: Regeneration and

Related articles

  • Read More

    Housing association helps the environment and homeless at the same time

    Northward Housing and The Mustard Tree homeless charity have teamed up to help get people back into work. The charity's Standfirm enterprise sees properties left by Northward's tenants, who have...

  • Read More

    Trash to treasure scheme

    Mr Pearce, from Broughton, Salford, is launching a new social enterprise ‘Old to New Furnishings', with the help of a grant from social housing provider Salix Homes. This new enterprise renovates...

  • Read More

    WakeOrDonate app helps charity's gain donations

    WakeOrDonate is a mobile phone app which will make a donation to a charity each time the snooze button is pressed on someone's phone alarm. The app has been developed by Ronan Finnegan, a nineteen...

  • Read More

    A new approach to help people find care

    A peer-support model is a way of working that allows the sector to save money whilst also giving reliable support and care to those needing it.  Peer brokers will help other care-users manage their...

  • Read More

    Pilot Project Shows Social Enterprises Can Tackle Local Problems

    The JRF pilot project in Bradford shows the untapped potential that locally based social enterprises have to solve local problems.The report also says that local authorities should place a higher...

  • Read More

    Charities would rather trade as a Social Enterprise

    The results of the survey showed 92% said they would like to increase their income from trading and government contracts in the next three years.From asking 100 charities, the results shows that more...

  • Read More

    Charities and Businesses form New Social Enterprise

    New methods need to be found for funding new social enterprises to free them from traditional methods and generate new methods of spending as well as methods of funding.Foundations traditionally...

  • Read More

    Social Enterprise to help those with learning difficulties is expanding!

     Loddon Social Enterprise will from next month be able to provide facilities where cooking, artwork and computer skills can be learned to increase the work experience for adults who have learning...

  • Read More

    Social enterprise spending to reduce reoffending

     The process still seems to be a learning process at present, and the ministry have recently completed a consultation on the sector to gain helpful feedback.They will be giving out a second grant to...

  • Read More

    Remploy Workers want to buy Factory as Social Enterprise

    The factories that make components and assemble car parts in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby, will lose all funding from the government by September.They were left open when thirty four Remploy...

Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I thought this briefing was very good and very useful.  The presentation was clear, well argued and I always find Michael gives me food for thought even if I don't agree with everything he says.  I really like the way he facilitates a discussion in the room and I learn as much from other participants as I do from the presenter which is always good. Right length, right tone." R.P. - Richmond Fellowship


Briefing Signup