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Shadow Minister deplores ‘unrepresentative’ Local Enterprise Partnerships

New figures revealed today by Toby Perkins MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Regional Growth, demonstrate the clear unrepresentative nature of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

  • A mere 16% of LEP board members in the country are female
  • Just 4 of the 39 boards have a female chair
  • 7 of the 39 LEPs boards have 1 or 0 female board members

Munitions 1Toby Perkins said:

“One Nation Labour wants to see sustainable growth which leaves no one behind.  LEPs have an important role to play in securing this growth and regional development, but their ability to do this is undermined when they are so unrepresentative of the communities they were set up to serve.”

The research was undertaken by Toby Perkins after the government confirmed in a written parliamentary answer that they have no targets for ensuring that boards of LEPs are representative and do not even monitor the composition of boards.

Toby Perkins added:

“The Tory-led government must take a lead to ensure these boards are more representative, at the moment they simply set up the LEPs then left them to their own devices.”

Local evidence also shows that individual LEPs are doing nothing to promote gender balance and inclusivity.

Sharon Taylor OBE was the only female representative on the Hertfordshire LEP when she was voted off in 2013.  She is Leader of the Council in Stevenage, the second largest settlement in Hertfordshire, leaving the LEP unrepresentative of geography and gender.

Sharon explained:

“After I was voted off I wrote to the Chair of LEP asking him to ensure that there would be some female representation, even in my absence. 

“His response was simply to say that while he appreciated that there are very many successful women both running their own companies and working in business in Hertfordshire it was not his responsibility to find women to be on the board and that positions would be filled simply by who came forward.

“The local Chambers of Commerce rep on the board is now a women, but such a piecemeal approach cannot ensure that the LEP is representative of the growth needs of the whole community.”

>>ENDS<<

Notes to editors

For further comment call Toby Perkins on 020 7219 2320

Local Enterprise Partnerships were set up by the Conservative-led government in 2011 to replace Regional Development Agencies help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within its local area.

PQ answer to Toby Perkins: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131016/text/131016w0001.htm#13101685002154

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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