Chambers discuss LEP plans

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The Government has been meeting with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to discuss details of the forthcoming Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP).

Following a meeting between BCC director general David Frost, and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, both parties underlined their shared vision for the LEPs – which are intended to drive local economic growth across England.

Frost said: “The future of our local economies – from Cornwall to Carlisle – hinges on the growth of the wealth-generating private sector. The Secretary of State and I are in complete agreement on this point.

“We also agree that Chambers of Commerce, the beating hearts of England’s local business communities, must play a crucial leadership role. As local enterprise partnerships develop across the country, Chambers will work together with local councils to set a clear vision for growth, prosperity, and jobs – and will help deliver the business backing that these partnerships will need to succeed.”

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Pickles added: “I was delighted to meet with the BCC as they have a central role to play, working hand in hand with local leaders, to develop and deliver new local enterprise partnerships that will make the economy responsive to the needs of local business and local people.

We want to urgently rebuild and rebalance local economies without strangling businesses with red tape so that new economic opportunities spread across the country.

The solution needs to be local and I expect councils to work closely with local Chambers of Commerce so that partnership proposals have a strong business voice that preaches enterprise.”

Cornwall Chamber chief executive Richard Glover said: “Organised and defined properly, LEP are an exciting opportunity to develop the agendas our members feel are important to the economy of Cornwall.

“We are working closely with Cornwall Council, offering private sector input into the ideas emerging. Thus far, we are certainly encouraged by what is being discussed.

“Once firm proposals are ready, we will consult with the almost 2,000 businesses involved in the Chamber to further shape the ideas. This is a great chance to demonstrate the strength and importance of a vibrant, engaged business network”.