Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk has mounted a spirited defence of Local Enterprise Partnerships.
Writing in LocalGov.uk, he defends the way the post-RDA bodies have been developed:
We have deliberately not set out a strict set of guidelines or frameworks for the partnerships to follow. To do so – especially in legislation – would have hamstrung the partnerships’ freedom before they even started. We must move away from the last government’s ‘top-down’ approach to governing, and allow partnerships to determine the form and functions which are most suitable and effective for businesses their area.
Elsewhere, he endorses the role of LEPs in helping businesses apply for support from the Regional Growth Fund, and says they’ll also have a say in how European funding is distributed:
Local areas will not lose out on European money, either. The Department for Communities and Local Government has always had responsibility for delivering the European Regional Development Fund in England. Local authorities will have a strategic role to play in delivery of the fund, as will local enterprise partnerships.
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