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Deloitte response to Heseltine report local government proposals

31 October 2012

Responding to the proposals set out on local government by Lord Heseltine in his report on economic growth, Phil Holt, local government partner at Deloitte, the business advisory firm, said:

“Lord Heseltine’s report outlines a number of detailed and considered recommendations about the role of local and regional government. The economic potential of our provincial cities needs to be recognised and harnessed.

“Local Enterprise Partnerships have limited power and resources and their value is frequently questioned. Lord Heseltine’s proposals around giving them greater powers, reviewing their skills and giving access to pooled resources are therefore encouraging.

“Introducing a legal duty for local authorities to consider economic development in their activities and functions would also be welcome. Many local authorities, particularly metropolitan councils, already see this as an important function but, to be successful for all councils, a statutory responsibility needs to be backed up with stronger powers and more resources.

“As Lord Heseltine recognises, how we are going to spend the hundreds of millions of EU money from 2014 onwards will be crucial. With broader central and local support for matching the EU investment, this is a big opportunity to deliver a more co-ordinated public sector funded investment plan to promote economic growth.  However there needs to be a broader agreement between councils and both Whitehall and Brussels about how the money can be spent and the regulatory framework necessary for it to be truly effective.”

Ends

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The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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