A senior Treasury official has cast doubt on whether local enterprise partnerships should take significant extra responsibility for spending.
In a conference speech reported on publicservice.co.uk, Tamara Finkelstein, HM Treasury director of public services, said LEPs vary in their capacity and ability to agree on strategic aims. “The skills stuff is not quite in the right place now and the engagement between what local authorities and local businesses need is not quite happening”, she said.
She added that LEPs are an “important part of the jigsaw” in sparking growth, but the Treasury prefers community budgets as a tool for pooling devolved resources.
Last year, former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine recommended LEPs take on billions of pounds of central funding.