Labour and businesses split over business partnerships

Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) has welcomed the Government’s decision to approve a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covering Greater Essex, Kent and East Sussex.

Essex FSB Chairman, Iain Wicks, said: “Today’s announcement that the Greater Essex, Kent and East Sussex LEP has been approved is excellent news for the local economy and in particular for small businesses as it puts the business community in the driving seat for economic development and regeneration across the area.

“The economy in the LEP area is bigger than the economy of Belgium and is the major economic driver for the UK so the opportunities it offers for leading the country out of recession are considerable.”

Mr Wick’s statement differs wildly from the leader of Thurrock Council, John Kent who described the LEP’s at the Labour Party conference as a “dog’s dinner”  as it does not cover a functional economic area.

Essex FSB have told YourThurrock where they envisage the LEP’s proposals going next.

Mr Wickes said: “Essex FSB has worked closely with Essex County Council, Essex Business Consortium and other partners to develop the LEP proposal and we will now be looking for a close working relationship to deliver the LEP’s objectives including a strong voice for small business on the LERP Board.

“This is an exciting time for businesses on Essex and I have no doubt that when the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government speaks at the Essex FSB Annual Dinner in Chelmsford on Tuesday 09 November 2010 that we will hear more details from him as businesses ask for more information.”

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