This report from the thinktank, ippr, looks at the involvement of the voluntary and community sector social enterprises in the work of Local Enterprise Partnerships. It focuses on the North of England, as this part of the country has the greatest need for effective LEPs, as it is here that the impact of the spending cuts is expected to be disproportionately negative.
LEPs are tasked with providing economic leadership for their areas by setting out a strategic approach to private sector-led growth and job creation, in order to contribute to rebalancing the economy. In keeping with the Government’s commitment to localism, the function and remit of each LEP will vary according to its partners and their analyses of local priorities. However, they could potentially play a wide-ranging role, tackling issues such as planning, housing, local transport and infrastructure priorities, employment, enterprise and the transition to a low carbon economy. The Local Growth White Paper sets out a number of potential roles for LEPs, such as working with the Government to set out key investment priorities.
The authors argue that involvement of the VCS and social enterprises in LEPs could be of benefit to both sides.
The report calls for LEPs to carry out a light touch audit to review and recognise the economic contribution of the Voluntary and Community Services, and social enterprises, and to ensure structures and processes for developing strategies and shaping actions are as simple and transparent as possible.
The report is available to download here.