LEPs & Local Authorities: strategic economic planning

Although there is no formal ‘decision-making’ role for LEPs or Local Authorities in the siting process, they are likely to be the key players in deciding whether a community enters into and remains within the process.  Every affected local authority will have an interest throughout the process. GDFWatch stands ready to support any local authority requiring advice and assistance.

From a local authority perspective, the GDF generates multiple questions, eg:

  • can the proposed infrastructure investment support delivery of our existing long-term economic plan
  • could the additional investment package fund popular local ideas which have previously been left to one side because of lack of funding
  • could a GDF help sustain social and welfare aspects of a community, justifying investment from health and other public budgets in the retention or development of local facilities

These issues have already started to be addressed by local authority and LEP representative organisations, from the Local Government Association (LGA), Nuclear Legacy Advisory Forum (NuLeAF – the LGA’s specialist working group), Association of Directors of Economic, Environment, Planning & Transport (ADEPT – the professional body of senior local authority executives), and the LEP Network.

It is all a matter of being creative.  One LEP Chairman noted that the funds available would allow him to fully fund the £400m infrastructure programme his area needed to underpin its long-term economic plan.