Why do councils need the LEP to direct them to work together?

Questions from a correspondent:

1. As I understand it the desire is that Plymouth, Torbay, Devon and Somerset County Councils and their districts will work together for the benefit of electors who (unsurprisingly) elected them in local elections.

The LEP gets funds direct from the Government and allocates them according to their perceived policies as (mostly) local unelected businessmen.

Why do these authorities NEED an LEP to co-ordinate their closer working at all? If they can’t do it by sorting it together without the LEP what hope is there for them working together at all?

2. We are told that the councils (all of them – counties cities and districts) will lose no powers.

So what will this devolved area actually be able to do that can’t be done now?

3. Are we going to be consulted?

Good questions!

Someone help me here!