The government is channelling £12 billion to Local Enterprise Partnerships (see below). This money is to be used on projects of their choosing. The people choosing are predominantly business men and (some) women and a handful of top councillors. Decisions are made by a simple majority.
This is mostly money that, in the past, would have gone to local authorities which would have been accountable to us for it and their choices would be subject to the ballot box. Our LEP is spending an awful lot of it on the projects allied to the Hinkley Point C power station – when even its owners have very cold feet about investing.
Our LEP meets in secret and produces only sketchy notes of its deliberations. We have no idea if it has any sub-committees or who is on them. We do not know how to access its accounts or what form they take. We do not even know how many people they employ or what their jobs are. Heck, even their postal address is a post office box number
Heart of the South West LEP, PO Box 805, Exeter, EX1 9UU
and their contact numbers are mobile phones:
where it also says this:
“By telephone: 01935 385977 – The LEP does not have a Head Office and this number is kindly answered by one of our partners, who will take a message and forward onto the appropriate person in the LEP to answer. This service is kindly provided by Yeovil Innovation Centre, supported by South Somerset District Council.”
Anyone else as worried as Owl?