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RTPI response to Labour LEP announcement

08 April 2014

Leader of the Labour Party Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP today outlined the Party’s thinking on local growth in a letter sent to council leaders, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and universities in England.

The key aspects of the letter are:

  • LEPs will be coterminous with the city and county regions.
  • The city and county region authority and LEP will co-produce and agree the economic plans for the area.
  • City and county region authorities and LEPs will in return be able to directly invest in transport and housing; greater control over skills budgets, alongside business control of the funding of apprenticeships through LEPs and sector bodies, lead on delivering the Work Programme, with city and county regions able to use local knowledge to decide which providers to use to get people back to work; and,  city and county regions benefit directly from the proceeds of growth in their area.

Cath Ranson. President of the RTPI, said: “Labour’s thinking on how best to foster local growth is welcome. The RTPI stresses that the proposed economic plans must be truly spatial and genuinely strategic in their approach if they are to be effective. Research the RTPI commissioned on the recently submitted LEP strategic economic plans indicates there are some marked differences across Strategic Economic Plans in terms of their planning content and also the degree of sophistication of spatial planning analysis, and that some LEPs may not yet be equipped to plan strategically.”

The RTPI stresses that the proposed economic plans must be truly spatial and genuinely strategic in their approach if they are to be effective.

The RTPI has made a submission to the Lyons Housing Review are keen to assist the party in working out how ideas on decentralisation and interauthority cooperation can result in improved housing delivery, and how best government can integrate spending on transport with providing land for homes.

You can read Miliband’s speech here.

You can read a copy of Miliband’s letter here.

You can read about our research on LEPs here.