COUNCIL LEADER John Kent has told the Labour Party conference that the government plans for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) spanning Kent and Essex is a “dogs breakfast that will hamper regeneration.”
A letter has been sent to council chiefs from communities secretary Eric Pickles and business secretary Vince Cable inviting town halls to submit LEP proposals said that the partnerships should “reflect the natural economic geography of the areas they serve and hence to cover real functional economic and travel to work areas”.
But speaking a fringe meeting organised by the Thames Gateway London Partnership, Kent said: “The reality, I’m afraid, is significantly different. The emerging LEP that will cover the Thames Gateway, South Essex and North Kent, is a LEP that will cover the entire geographical counties of both Essex and Kent.
“I would contend that any LEP that extends from Clapton in the north to Dover in the south, is in fact regional – it is certainly not local.”