Lots and lots of people and institutions saw that LEPs were not what they were supposed to be – including Vince Cable who helped to create them!
“Vince Cable has questioned the coalition’s “messy” system to help businesses across the regions of Britain and admitted that ministers may not have “got it right”.
The Liberal Democrat business secretary said he was sceptical of whether local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and the “City Deal” project, which the government ushered in to replace regional development agencies (RDAs), had been successful.”
Insight Public Affairs in 2013:
It is imperative that the government put in place improved accountability structures that will provide a conduit for the effective assessment of the performance of LEPs, appraising the value-added by major funding streams and also the extent of local economic development. While the creation of the local growth committee is welcome, it operates in a vacuum at the heart of government with little interaction with Parliament and the 39 LEPs, and as a result, it is not ultimately responsible for the performance of LEPs in delivering economic growth. Accountability will not be established until lines of responsibility are improved within Whitehall; this can only be achieved by appointing a minister for local growth with sole responsibility for the performance of LEPs.”
Financial Times 2013:
“The fear is that, if weaker LEPs do not catch up, Lord Heseltine’s bidding process will result in money being allocated according to how effective a LEP is rather than how needy a region may be.
“We need stronger LEPs across bigger areas,” said Robert Hough, chairman of Liverpool city region LEP. “Many depend on local authority support. That is difficult to give when they are cutting elsewhere and libraries and leisure centres are closing.”