“Slow progress” on local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) — one of the government’s key local growth strategies — has been criticised in a new report by think tank the Centre for Cities.
The Centre for Cities found that of the original 24 LEPs announced, eight still have not had their boards recognised by government and on average it took the other 16 at least six months to obtain recognition. The report also said only two LEPs had published a long-term strategy so far.
“There is reason to be concerned that LEPs have made very little progress over the last year and are not in a position to become effective bodies,” the report concluded.
But it also recommended that where capable LEPs are operating at the right scale the government should consider devolving further resources, powers and freedoms to them. When launched, the government said LEPs were designed to end arbitrary geographical boundaries.