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Cable admits Local Enterprise Partnership failure

20 May 2014

Business Secretary Vince Cable has criticised the Governments messy Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) system, a change he played a key role in overseeing.

According to the LEP Network website, the initiative was intended to pair up local businesses and authorities in order for them to work together to increase the economic prosperity of their regions and create jobs.

However, Mr Cable has now admitted that the idea has not panned out as he envisaged and may not be sustainable.

He said: We have been trying to create, from scratch, a full new institutional framework. The LEPs, and then superimposed on that City Deals, and it feels a bit messy actually. I’m not sure we’ve got it right and, equally, I’m not sure how much buy-in there is elsewhere from other parties.

Opposition ministers have criticised Mr Cable for failing to implement a project he brought in at the expense of Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).

When the plan was first discussed in 2010 it was backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, with both sides of the coalition lauding plans to give more control to local businesses in an attempt to reverse the economic downturn.

At that time, Mr Cable claimed the coalition was giving back to councils and local authorities the powers and incentives they need to see a resurgence in civic pride.

What can business owners take away from this?

If you are a business owner, the idea of the LEPs may have seemed quite attractive as it was initially set out. The prospect of partnering local authorities to benefit the local area is, on paper, an intriguing proposition.

However, as much as it can be tempting to enter into a business partnership with another company or individual, it is important to give your plan careful consideration, ensuring it is sustainable and that your decision will prove positive in the long term.

From a business partnership perspective, there is also the practical aspect to consider, such as whether you would benefit more from a general partnership or LLP structure and what you will include in your partnership agreement.

Ralli are experts in all areas of partnership law, so call us on 0161 832 6131 to see if we can help you get started.

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