Lib Dem peer Lord Shipley to work with Heseltine on Local Growth Deals

Lib Dem peer Lord (John) Shipley, the former Leader of Newcastle City Council, is to join forces with Lord (Michael) Heseltine in supporting negotiations for Local Growth Deals with Local Enterprise Partnerships. The announcement was made by Nick Clegg – here’s the press release with further detail:

The government has committed to negotiating deals with all 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England, devolving power and accountability to local areas to drive economic growth, and providing opportunities for local business and civic leaders to set out their priorities for growth in their areas.

Under the deals, LEPs will be integral in deciding how the £2 billion Local Growth Fund is spent in their area, and their proposals for Local Growth Deals would be expected to include measures using local authority assets and creating a long-term strategy to put growth at the heart of everything they do. As well as money from the fund, they will also be expected to bring in significant private sector jobs and investment.

Lord Heseltine and Lord Shipley will advise ministers on individual proposals brought forward by the LEPs, and will challenge the LEPs themselves to produce the best possible proposals. They already work closely together as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Regional Growth Fund Advisory Panel advising ministers on applications to the fund from businesses looking to generate growth and create jobs around the country. They will not receive a salary from the government for these roles.

Here’s Nick welcoming the news:

This is another step forward in handing more power from Whitehall to local people. I am delighted that Lord Heseltine and Lord Shipley have agreed to bring their expertise and enthusiasm to bear on Local Growth Deals. Their work together on the Regional Growth Fund Advisory Panel has been integral to the success we have seen there.

And here’s what Lord Shipley had to say:

Following on from the success of the City Deals, I am delighted to be involved in the next exciting chapter of the government’s decentralisation agenda.

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