Collaboration is now the default in Hertfordshire.

Today (31 October), North Herts District Council is set to become the first of the county’s 11 local authorities, as well as the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to approve an agreement to make sure that growth is delivered in the best possible way for residents.

The main purpose of the significant and unique Memorandum of Understanding is to let residents and businesses know of this formal and absolute commitment, while also showing the way in which we will work together to manage growth in the county. It also sends a very clear message to central government about Hertfordshire’s ambitions.

Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire LEP are set to approve the agreement in December, while the other authorities are also scheduled to give the Memorandum of Understanding the go-ahead in the coming weeks.

The Hertfordshire population is expected to rise by up to 175,000 by 2031, with at least 100,000 new homes and 100,000 new jobs to be created over the same period, while there is also a clear objective to provide the right infrastructure, affordable housing and jobs for local people.

The councils and Hertfordshire LEP have been working together as part of the Hertfordshire Growth Board since its formation in 2018. The main aim of the Hertfordshire Growth Board is to respond to key challenges facing the county over the coming years. It provides leadership and governance across Hertfordshire, while also being the single point-of-contact for central government over funding opportunities in the future.

Councillor David Williams, Chairman of Hertfordshire Growth Board, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire LEP Board member, said: “The Growth Board is the way we are now working together on planning, economic growth and ensuring that we secure the infrastructure our communities expect. It raises our profile and helps us speak with one joint-voice to government and its agencies.

“The Memorandum of Understanding symbolises the development of a new approach of close collaboration between councils, and of nurturing effective partnerships across the public and private sectors. This strengthens decision-making, will support local engagement and, in turn, fosters a strong sense of place in our communities.”

Hertfordshire LEP Chair Mark Bretton, said: “Hertfordshire LEP plays a vital role in ensuring the voice of business is represented within the Hertfordshire Growth Board. This new Memorandum of Understanding is another positive step to strengthen collaboration between the LEP, county council and local authorities, and we welcome the opportunity to work more closely to drive forward business-led economic growth within the county.”

The Memorandum of Understanding was given the green-light for commission at the Hertfordshire Growth Board meeting in September 2019. For more information, please contact Paul Salter, Senior Campaigns Officer at Hertfordshire County Council: call 01992 588380 or email paul.salter@hertfordshire.gov.uk.