Boris Aide sceptical on LEPs

Anthony Browne, Boris Johnson’s economic adviser, is reported as being sceptical about the establishment of LEPs within London.

Commenting on Local Economic Partnerships at a meeting of the economic development committee of the London Assembly, Browne is reported by Regeneration & Renewal to have said that the mayor was open to considering LEP bids but they would have to make a strong case to justify their creation if they were to be approved.

Browne said: “We are not in favour of creating a sub-regional level of bureaucracy for economic development in London just for the sake of it and because they are doing it in the rest of the country”, and although he said that the London portion of the Thames Gateway seemed to have a strong case for forming a LEP, no mention was made of West London, despite the backing given for the idea at the Place West London Conference last week.

Browne said that if LEPs do go ahead in London, the mayor would still co-ordinate the distribution of European Regional Development Fund aid, and he said that responsibility for inward investment would continue to be co-ordinated on a “London level”.

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