The birth of our LEP – and it was planned to include the Chairman of the East Devon Business Forum!

This Exeter City Council committee document pretty much sets out how the LEP would take over council funds and transfer them to businesses – and the EAST DEVON BUSINESS FORUM:

4.3 Given the geography of the area it will be challenging to get all the key public and private sector and development companies to have a role in the combined Board. However it is possible to identify the significant parties for each of the local authority areas that could be invited to attend. The private sector participation on the Board needs to be broader than just development related companies and needs to ensure representation from the wider local business community as has been successfully achieved in Exeter and Heart of Devon Economic Partnership and the Exeter and the East Devon business forums. The NGPSB currently has on the Board the Chairman of Exeter Vision and the Chairman of the East Devon Business Forum*. The Board has resolved Exeter Chamber of Commerce should also be on the Board. Teignbridge DC has been asked to nominate a business representative for Teignbridge.”

http://committees.exeter.gov.uk/documents/s18377/NGP%20EHOD.pdf

* The Chairman of the East Devon Business Forum at that time was subsequently disgraced Councillor Graham Brown:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9920971/If-I-cant-get-planning-nobody-will-says-Devon-councillor-and-planning-consultant.html

3 thoughts on “The birth of our LEP – and it was planned to include the Chairman of the East Devon Business Forum!

  1. Pingback: The birth of our LEP – and it was planned to include the Chairman of the East Devon Business Forum! | Deirdre Dee Coaching
  2. The march of ‘devolution’ by passing powers to the LEPs is privatisation of local government. This is being done so quietly it might as well be secret. The LEPs are invisible and unaccountable. Its shocking that the councils involved have been so compliant in this process. One wonders if others of the ilk of G Brown are somehow involved and looking to benefit?
    One certainly has to assume that none of this ‘devolution’ will be to the benefit of the average resident and council tax payer.

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    • I think that the clue is in the failure to seek involvement of either the broader business community or the public. The signal failure is made most obvious by the admission, “private sector participation on the Board needs to be broader than just development related companies and needs to ensure representation from the wider local business community as has been successfully achieved in Exeter and Heart of Devon Economic Partnership and the Exeter and the East Devon business forums.” The “post truth” (do we mean lie?) is that Heart of Devon and East Devon Business Forum were even more unrepresentative, representing only the individuals who elected themselves to be representatives. To put no finer point on it, nobody asked me if I approved these individuals to do anything at all. The principal economic interests (see official statistics bodies) for Devon are tourism and agriculture. Always, were, always will. So yes, there may be other routes to market and other markets. But you are a damn fool to ignore your principal strengths and capitalize on them. But even with the agricultural economic disaster of Brexit staring the agricultural lobby in the face there is no move to lobby parliament. What we are presented with is a mantra that we will make the location healthy and thus we don’t need the NHS or care in the community or local hospitals, but must concentrate on building houses that are only economic if the developer’s clever accountants say so, and return nothing to the community. I assume that the builders have got those clever computer models that figure out what is the economic point at which you maximise profit for bothering to build a house as opposed to land-banking it. If they don’t then the shareholders MUST be looking for a new board of directors (Bovis?). For that is the nub of the problem. Commercial businesses are constrained to make profits for the benefit of the remuneration of the directors (first, if you please) and then shareholders, but not the employees because they are below the salt. There is nothing in their Memorandum and Articles about social justice and social responsibility – trust me, it is not there; and damn all about social housing.

      So that is the real problem. Bodies are being created that are private sector beneficial, but they are being paid for out of public sector funds. So the tax payer is enriching, without any recourse, bodies that they did not authorise, to distribute public money – the council tax – for the benefit of self-elected groups who appear to have no responsibility to report to the public, or to be open to prosecution if they fail to behave with the probity one expects of those who administer public moneys.

      Can we do anything about it. Damn all? Maybe go to parliament to get local authorities to be able to do their own developments instead of being compelled to offer their own developments for right to purchase. Frankly speaking, I find it unacceptable that the mantra that market forces must prevail on all accounts over any sector. Why should my taxes be used to give profits to people just because their house was built for social housing instead of for profit? Why don’t I get my money back? There is a nostrum that says health is simply an economic matter – it you do not have the money you cannot afford to be healthy. Indeed, in all social matters, it is imperative that, through the public sector, we test if the private sector actually offer value for money or not. And we can only do this by having the ability to mount public sector developments (whether building hospitals or housing developments) that allow us to test value for money. Value for money is not about how much profit a company can make out of running a train service (or failing to?) but about how much does it cost the tax payer to commission that service and what return does the taxpayer get? If we look at the banking sector and the 2007 disaster – paid for by the tax payer – and still being paid for by the tax payer then we own RBS. What is your government doing for you? So far the tax payer is deeply exposed to RBS. And none of that means the tax payer sees a return themselves. Nothing in the hustings develops agriculture or tourism. So we are entitled to conclude that the blandishments of the LEP are mere frippery and bring no improvement to the region’s economics or development of travel and tourism.

      For if you insist on economic measures for the region, first you have to define them, if they do not resonate with the Office of National Statistics (trust me – those folks have more serious statistics) then you have a serious credibility problem.

      And therein hangs the tail. Agriculture and tourism is what we do – but the (irrelevant?) use cases being presented are what we don’t do. Now the guys pushing for new developments are being told if they do not hit the ‘hot buttons’ of development they do not get funding, so we can only be certain that farmers and B&B providers are going to lose out because they are ‘yesterday’s market’ even though they are where the true market of Devon is.

      Jurassic eat your heart out?

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