Councillor has private sector LEP fears

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Questions are being raised as to the extent of the private sector’s involvement in the forthcoming Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

While Cornwall Council is still discussing details of the make-up of the LEP with stakeholders prior to sending its submission to the Government, Lib Dem councillor Alex Folkes has voiced fears that the private sector is looking to “take control of the project”.

In a motion passed last week, the Council stressed the need for the LEP to be a partnership between the Council and business. But Folkes wrote on his blog today: “Since then, it appears that some people from the business community have been trying to take control of the project.”

And he has written to Council Leader Alec Robertson, saying that “It would be entirely wrong, in our view, for the LEP to be dominated by business or for those who do not have democratic accountability nonetheless to have a veto on the work of the LEP.”

And he adds: “Could you assure me that Cornwall Council, whilst continuing to forge strong partnerships with business to make the LEP as resilient as possible, is preparing a bid that retains democratic accountability at its heart?”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Iain is absolutely right. It is for the Council, or which ever vehicle (CDC?) they may use, to democratically facilitate the needs of businesses, and not tell businesses what they may or may not need. The Board therefore needs to have a proportional cross party representation from the council, reciprocated by the private sector representing those industrial sectors that are contributing, or have the potential to contribute, the greater part of GDP for the economy of Cornwall.

  2. I rather fear that Councillor Folkes has not done his homework here.

    If he read the documentation regarding LEPs he would see that the Coalition Government is quite clear that the LEP will have a private sector chair as well as board members.

    He is confusing the LEP with Council economic delivery-they are not the same thing.

    The Council is actually to be congratulated for the work it has done so far and in setting up the page on the Council site http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/lep.

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