LEP Development Board sets Priorities for Early Action

By on 01/12/2010 in News

The new Local Enterprise Partnership, which encompasses Birmingham, Solihull, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield and Tamworth has held its first 'Development Board' meeting.

Chaired by Bridget Blow, the Development Board is now tasked with preparing the essential groundwork for the establishment of a full board in the April 2011.

First on the agenda was the welcoming of two new member areas, Bromsgrove and Cannock Chase, who have both agreed to join since the original successful submission to Government. They now join business and local authority representatives from across the LEP area, in an enthusiastic and interdependent partnership which promised to be both light-touch and outcome focussed.

Incorporating not just the Metropolitan area, but also the surrounding green belt hinterland, this new LEP is believed to be almost unique in its approach to creating a real partnership around a strong and functional economic geography.

The board agreed terms of reference to guide the group, and set the framework for a new business plan and economic strategy for the LEP area. For the people within the LEP area this means a commitment for the private sector and public sector to work together in new ways to deliver an overarching ambition of increasing GVA by £8.25bn and helping to create up to 100,000 private sector jobs by 2020.

Bridget Blow, Chairman of the LEP Development Board, said: “ I am looking forward to the Development Board laying firm foundations for the successful launch of the Board proper early in the new year. We expect central government will want to delegate meaningful powers into the LEP and are in conversation with them.

“It is very encouraging to see how eager our local authority partners are to ensure we design a LEP that maximises the considerable potential in the private sector to underpin our growth ambitions. Our mission is to make our LEP area the easiest place in Europe in which to set up and run a business and the work of the Development Board is focussed on ensuring the full Board will have every chance of delivering on this important goal.

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“I am delighted that we have now had our first meeting and brought together a group of truly willing partners, from business and local authorities, who welcome the challenge of not only creating growth for the LEP area, but the United Kingdom as well.

“It was refreshing to see a new group of people, fresh and enthusiastic, determined to innovate and deliver real outcomes. We all know we face challenges, and resources are scarce, but I am reassured after our first meeting that we have between us all the ingredients to make a very powerful partnership work.”

Members of the LEP Development Board are as follows:

Private Sector (chosen on a geographical basis):

Bridget Blow (Chair) Formerly President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce; Chair of the LEP Development Board.

Kathryn James Managing Director of the NEC; Solihull Business Representative on the LEP Development Board.

John Haywood  Burton and District Chamber; East Staffordshire Business Representative on the LEP Development Board.

Debbie Baker Owner, Hawthornes: Research & Business Development Limited; Tamworth and Lichfield Business and Economic Partnership; Tamworth and Lichfield Business Representative on the LEP Development Board.

David Caro MD of Qualplast; Federation of Small Business Birmingham Branch Chairman; Birmingham Business Representative on the LEP Development Board.

Spencer Wright Chief Executive, Dains LLP; Cannock Chase Business Representative on LEP Development Board,

Public Sector

Cllr Mike Whitby  Leader of Birmingham City Council
Cllr Ian Headley  Leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Cllr Richard Grosvenor  Leader of East Staffordshire District Council
Cllr Michael Wilcox  Leader of Lichfield District Council
Cllr Daniel Cook  Leader of Tamworth District Council
Cllr Neil Stanley  Leader of Cannock Chase District Council
Cllr Roger Hollingworth  Leader of Bromsgrove District Council

University Representative

David Maguire Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Corporate Development, Birmingham City University

For more information please contact Simon Houltby 0121 303 3503
<p align=”center”><strong>LEP DEVELOPMENT BOARD</strong><strong> </strong></p>
<p align=”center”><strong>TERMS OF REFERENCE</strong><strong><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”> </span></strong></p>

1.  The function of the Shadow LEP Board is to:-

(i)       act as the LEP pending the formal constitution of the LEP

(ii)      review and establish information on existing structures within the LEP regarding:-

Strategic transport planning and investment

Employment and Skills Boards

Higher and Further Education

Housing planning and investment, and their links with transport

Business and leisure tourism

(iii)     consider supporting structures e.g. project boards (feasibility and delivery)/committees for the LEP and linkages with other existing bodies, Chief Executive working and steering groups etc.

(iv)     develop the initial  work plan for the LEP

(v)            discuss with the local authorities the provision of background services e.g. secretariat, financial, scrutiny, accountable body status etc.

(vi)          develop robust representational governance for the LEP and to fully represent the business sector in such systems responding to the Government White Paper- “ Local Growth  – realising every place's potential “

(vii)         produce terms of reference for the LEP

(viii)       to investigate and develop the ability for the LEP to acquire funding from its members and other sources

(ix)          develop a communications plan

(x)            develop a conversation with Government

xi)          develop inter LEP communications

(xii)         to review and endorse submissions for Regional Growth Fund

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