Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Heseltine Report

Some weeks ago saw the publication of a detailed report by Michael Heseltine which had been prepared at the request of the Government to consider how to stimulate economic growth. His report "No stone unturned" makes many recommendations and is an interesting read. It champions the unitary authority model and is consistent with my attempt to encourage discussion with our neighbours as to a possible reorganisation of local government in south east Essex in a way which would deliver management savings, improve the provision of joined up services, and enhance local politicians control over the services our residents receive. The governments response has been to confirm that it will not attempt to force change but will look favourably on plans presented by local authorities. It is a debate which needs to be had sooner rather than later! Lord Heseltine also makes some interesting comments about the organisation of our local enterprise partnerships. There is a concern that the South East LEP is too large and that we are not getting the additional benefits which justify the limitations imposed by a structure covering Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Southend, Thurrock and Medway.For me the jury is still out and we need to do all we can to make the current LEP work before we endure the disruption and delay inevitable with any change but, as the report makes clear, we need to keep this under careful review.

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