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We will will create 100,000 Mersey jobs, claims LEP boss

Larry Neild says 'what kept you? as critics claim we've been quangoed

Written by . Published on March 19th 2012.


We will will create 100,000 Mersey jobs, claims LEP boss

THE sun rose today on a new entity, charged with taking Liverpool and its five closest neighbours on a voyage of enterprise. 

The Mersey Partnership's flag – well name-plate – was lowered at its Princes Parade headquarters, and up went the signage for the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, known in business and political circles as the LEP. 

'You can't help but feel passionate about
Liverpool and the city region' - Robert Hough

When you listen to the LEP's chairman Robert Hough – who said the aim over the coming decade is to create 100,000 new jobs in Merseyside, oops sorry, “Liverpool City Region” – you are tempted to ask … "What kept you?"

LEPs are the unwanted babies created by Eric Pickles and the Department for Communities and Local Government as the coalition's successors to the regional development agencies. 

The Hough At A Cbi Dinner In 2009The Hough at a CBI
dinner in 2009
Indeed, former Peel boss Mr Hough, as chairman of the North West Regional Development Agency, is currently arranging its funeral. 

The NWDA spanned an area stretching from Crewe to the Lake District, and pumped millions of pounds in aid into areas like Liverpool and Merseyside. 

The new LEP will not receive any Government funding and will have to fight its corner and shout for any government or EU grants on offer. Despite this, Hough insists the Liverpool City Region LEP will not be a poor relation of the NWDA. 

After months of discussions, and in some cases wrangling, the LEP has, to all intents and purposes, consumed the Mersey Partnership as its organising body. 

Downtown Liverpool in Business leader Frank McKenna says he has major concerns in the set up, ranging from a lack of consultation with the business community to a distinct shortage of female board members. 

He has also described the make-up of the new LEP as a “joke” criticising it as a staff-heavy, expensive, and potentially inefficient quango. 

He said: “I am disappointed the wider business community has not been properly consulted in the setting up of this new structure. Equally concerning is the poor representation for the SME sector, and the woeful lack of female presence on the board. How can it be right that the Liverpool city region has failed to find a leading business woman to be a member of this new strategic body?” 

Frank MckennaFrank McKenna, rightHe also questioned why the LEP will be employing more than 50 people compared to others in the region employing as few as two. 

Hough defended the size of the operation, citing the massive amount of work to do in a city region with an economy worth more than £21bn. 

Old enough to carry a bus pass, he has had a glittering career with Peel and for some years chaired the Peel-owned Liverpool John Lennon Airport. He also delivered the Trafford Centre, another Peel venture. 

So why, with so many successes under his belt, and with the ability to enjoy a well earned retirement, does he want to take the hot seat in a region where for far too long rivalry, tribalism and some of the worst deprivation in Europe have dominated the political landscape? 

“You can't help but feel passionate about Liverpool and the city region,” he said, recalling how at a younger age he would travel to Liverpool's docklands with his father who worked for a timber merchant. 

He says he fully understands the district rivalries – it's human nature, people in Wirral prefer things for Wirral – but we should not lose sight of the bigger picture. 

Liverpool City is the big economic driver – but even here more than half of the people working in the city live outside it. 

It's the start of a new era, he says cheerfully, describing those hoped for 100,000 jobs as deliverable. 

“Without doubt it is ambitious,” he declares. 

But no time for mourning the death of the NWDA. Hough says he is here to deliver Government policies – and that means making a success of the LEP. 

“It won't be straightforward but it will be an exceptional challenge and I'm looking forward to it. The area will have wind in its sails,” he says.

“By establishing the LEP in this way, we are building on solid foundations and the transition means the new LEP can rise rapidly to the challenge of ensuring the City Region is a dynamic powerhouse for economic growth and job creation.” 

There is still a lot of talking to do and sorting out who does what – particularly with promoting and marketing tourism. 

Liverpool's new LEP is open for business.

LIVERPOOL CITY REGION LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP BOARD

Cllr Joe Anderson Leader of Liverpool City Council

Cllr Jeff Green Leader of Wirral Council

Cllr Ronnie Round Leader of Knowsley Council

Cllr Marie Rimmer Leader of St. Helens Council

Cllr Peter Dowd Leader of Sefton Council

Cllr Rob Polhill Leader of Halton Council

Asif Hamid The Contact Company

Peter Nears Peel Ports

Richard Else Jaguar Land Rover

Steve O’Connor Stobart Ports

Alistair Poole NGF Europe

Prof Sir Howard Newby University of Liverpool

Jack Stopforth Liverpool Chamber of Commerce

Neil Sturmey Grant Thornton

Robert Hough 

 

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMarch 20th 2012.

This LEP (horrible acronym) has a lot to prove - show us you mean business by delivering real results, not glossy documents kidding yourselves, but nobodjy else, that you are doing good. Deliver jobs, opportunities, a new belief, no spin or bull s*** and we'll be right behind you.

AnonymousMarch 20th 2012.

Hasn't the LEP, or TMP as was, just parted company with its female chief executive Lorraine Rogers? Are they saying this is a job for the boys.

AnonymousMarch 20th 2012.

Lets give this body our support and ensure that it carries on the excellent work and fills the vacuum of bodies such as the NWDA and other regionally abolished organisations.

Liverpool City Region needs a body like this that delivers policy implementation, better outcomes and promotes sustainable economic wellbeing for all and reduces levels of deprivation in those pockets and super output areas that need it the most!

Up the LEP!!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Paul WardMarch 20th 2012.

Forgotten your login details Councillor?

Paul WardMarch 20th 2012.

White, male, upper middle class. Except for Anderson - no class.

The peiople who've in the main presided over decline given nice little jobs to supplenment their already fat bank balances. 100,000 jobs eh? All we need is 2,000 LEPers.

Arthur AdamsMarch 20th 2012.

100,000 jobs? Over what time scale? 5 years = 20,000 jobs a year or about 400 a week, 10 years = 200 a week. Even 20 jobs a week = 100 years. I think the LEP has set itself a rather ambitious target.

Don quixoteMarch 20th 2012.

A rather ambitious target. Don't you mean more bollocks that keeps public sector white collar workers living off the fat of the land? When will these people be found out?

AnonymousMarch 20th 2012.

From my experience of working withing the region these LEP people are hard working and doing their best to help people in the Liverpool City Region achieve better outcomes, with a clear policy framework to deliver implementation. You just read the Tory press that knocks the public servants down and believe that the private sector is the only solution.

Absinthe & TurksMarch 20th 2012.

The private sector is filled with incompetent dolts. To prevent the obvious being apparent is why we are constantly fed the Tory mantra, 'private sector good, public sector bad' especially by the allegedly "left-wing" BBC.

Darth FormbyMarch 20th 2012.

BBC, left wing? You only have to agree with Ted Heath to be labelled a dangerous Marxist these days.

Christos AntoniMarch 21st 2012.

Robert Hough is the RIGHT MAN for THE JOB . Why ? Because he has an EXCELLENT PROVEN TRACK RECORD . This man is AND HAS EXACTLY WHAT IT TAKES ; HE HAS THE KNOW HOW, AND KNOWS THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN HIGH PLACES OF GOVERNMENT. Another thing about him is that HE IS A DOER AND NOT A MOANER. HE SPEAKS LITTLE AND DOES MUCH. Just LOOK AT SOME OF WHAT HE HAS ACHIVED, I.E , SALFORD KEYS , TURNING A DEAD DOCKS INTO A THRIVING ,BUILT UP , MEDIA CITY WITHIN A CITY . ALSO, LOOK AT THE TRAFORD CENTER WHICH IS ANOTHER OF HIS PROJECTS . SIT UP , TAKE NOTE, OPEN YOUR EYES AND INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING AND SHOOTING THE MAN DOWN , SEE THE ON GOING JOBS,JOBS,JOBS, AND PROSPERITY FOR THE PEOPLE OF MANCHESTER. OH AND DON'T KID YOURSELFS THE PEOPLE OF MANCHESTER ARE TRULY BLESSED BY MR HOUGHS PIONEERING PROJECTS. REMEMBER : - WHO DARES WINS . THE EPILOGUE IS THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE AND THINK POSITIVE , SUCEED IN ALL THEY DO. THANK YOU.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Arthur AdamsMarch 22nd 2012.

Been for a walk around Salford recently have you? Only Salford Quays and Media City are creating jobs and most of those have been relocated from London by the BBC.

AnonymousMarch 22nd 2012.

Don't forget Arth..... the Rugby Football League have moved their HQ from Leeds to Salford!

Lions led by DonkeysMarch 26th 2012.

It doesn't say that they have to be proper, full-time jobs. Three hours per week on one 6am-9am shift at Asda at £6p.h. apparently counts as "a job" these days.

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