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Will umbrella companies benefit from the LEP network?

Will umbrella companies benefit from the LEP network?

Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary announced last week that the British Chambers of Commerce will have sole responsibility for uniting the network of local enterprise partnerships.

The network will provide a forum for local business leaders to exchange ideas, solve problems and access the latest data required to promote the UK’s economic growth.

The coalition wants to see local areas taking control of their economic future. LEPs are owned locally through partnerships between civic and business leaders and these leaders will decide local economic priorities and encourage growth and job creation in the local community.

David Frost, the BCC’s director general, said the Chamber was delighted to be at the centre of the new network and would work tirelessly to make sure it helps enterprises across England grow.

However, various business organisations are disappointed that the BCC has been given sole responsibility for the group. They believe that this move means that wider business concerns will be ignored. Furthermore, they are concerned that this decision was taken without the opportunity being put out to consultation or tender.

The national chairman of the FSB, John Walker, said he supports the move to bring LEPs together but pointed out that there are several business organisations, representing different sectors, which are all striving to make LEPs successful. If the scheme is to be truly effective, these organisations should be entitled to represent diverse business interests.

Miles Templeman, the Director-General of the Institute of Directors, was of a like mind saying he was both surprised and disappointed that the government had appointed the BCC without consulting other business groups.

FPB chief executive, Phil Orford, explained that many of the members of his organisation still don’t understand the concept of LEPs and how they will support local growth. He also expressed his disappointment with the government for its lack of transparency and consultation in reaching its decision.

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Image: One Way by -= Bruce Berrien =-

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