• Friday 1 May 2015

    What will the forthcoming general election mean for the LEPs and places like the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley?

    Our voice of Buckinghamshire Business this month is:
    Paul Hackett, Director, The Smith Institute.


    Will a new government continue to see the LEPs as drivers of local growth with a focus on the private sector, or might the new batch of ministers want to pay more attention to the role of councils and the wider social economy? 

    There is cross-party support for the LEPs and none of the political parties is calling for scrapping of the growth deals. However, the party manifestos hardly mention the LEPs. Maybe this lack of political attention is a good thing - a vote of confidence, which gives the LEPs much needed certainty.  But, perhaps being off the political radar will leave the LEPs isolated and vulnerable to Whitehall interference?  Without advocacy the LEPs may be subject to greater scrutiny and criticism, and less able to connect with local partners and government departments?