GREATER LINCOLNSHIRE LEP LEADING THE WAY AT NATIONAL CONFERENCE
1st May 2012
There was support for my suggestion that rather than wait for the Government to give us funds for initiatives devised in Whitehall, we should decide on our priorities and help the Government to shape the funds so that they meet real needs
Ursula Lidbetter MBE, Chairman of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, was one of only five LEP representatives to be asked to speak at the LEP Network annual conference in London last week (Thursday 26th April).
The event was attended by Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for Transport, the Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable MP, Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Mark Prisk MP, the Business and Enterprise Minister.
They were joined by representatives from the 37 LEP boards together with civil servants from the relevant departments.
Miss Lidbetter used the platform to tell delegates how the Greater Lincolnshire LEP is working well with all the local authorities to utilise their resources rather than duplicate them.
“I set out our aim to create the conditions for business growth and Greater Lincolnshire’s priority sectors of manufacturing, agri-food, the visitor economy, renewables, port and logistics and care,” she said.
“There was support for my suggestion that rather than wait for the Government to give us funds for initiatives devised in Whitehall, we should decide on our priorities and help the Government to shape the funds so that they meet real needs.”
The audience heard about Greater Lincolnshire’s success in promoting the Eastern Relief Road for Lincoln and the A180 link road in Immingham and in helping to secure £14.3 million for better broadband.
Miss Lidbetter concluded her address with a challenge to Government to ensure sufficient accountability for money given to LEPs and urged the Government to put a small amount of resource into LEPs to ensure they can deliver real economic growth.
Meanwhile Justine Greening talked about the importance of LEPs in strategic planning for transport infrastructure and smart technologies for public transport to enable through ticketing.
Dr Vince Cable answered questions on LEP funding and encouraged LEPs to develop clear strategies and local priorities, while Eric Pickles MP wrapped up the day by confirming the Government’s commitment to LEPs.
“Mr Pickles particularly asked to hear more about the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s work to improve the planning process by bring developers, planners and utility companies and other public bodies together,” said Miss Lidbetter.