LEPs hold the key to unlocking productivity
"LEP Chairs and Chief Executives recently met with Government officials to map out the future of LEPs as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. Small Business Minister, Margot James MP affirmed that LEPs hold the key to unlocking productivity, thanks to their unique position at the heart of local economies and their ability to secure high-impact, first-of-its-kind projects.
As the role of LEPs are strengthened, we will be better placed to help Hertfordshire reach its full potential and will continue to work with our stakeholders to develop a Local Industrial Strategy for the county that builds on our Strategic Economic Plan.
The LEP’s Business Forum met in October to discuss the current mood amongst local businesses with regard to Brexit, based on feedback received from their member organisations. The two overarching concerns are that SMEs are increasingly reluctant to plan for growth in the current climate of economic uncertainty and that the already stretched labour market may shrink further as a result of limitations on free movement.
This is a common sentiment across UK and the LEP Network is collaborating with stakeholders to ensure continuity of funding and to help shape a strategy as we move into a new economic era. As a LEP, we envision our role is to help businesses get ready and to ensure your voice is heard in Westminster.
Following our successful Skills Summit last month, we continue our campaign to tackle Hertfordshire’s skills gap with ‘The Value of Experience’ on 22 November. This event, run in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions, focuses on the importance of recruiting workers aged 50 and over; a valuable and rapidly growing sector of our labour market. Please take the opportunity to register your interest.
Finally, I am glad to announce that the LEP Board has now reached its full quota of members. Following Councillor Julian Daly’s decision to step down as Leader of St Albans City and District Council, Hertfordshire Leaders’ Group have nominated Councillor Morris Bright who will take up this post with immediate effect. He joins Councillor Linda Haysey and Councillor Sharon Taylor as the local authority representatives on the LEP Board. I look forward to working with all our new Board Members in the months to come and thank Julian for his valuable contribution."
- Mark Bretton, Chairman of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership