Worcestershire LEP has clear Governance arrangements in place to deliver EU and Growth Deal programmes so that the funding the county has received works to deliver the 10-year Strategic Economic Plan.

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WLEP Local Assurance Framework

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Section 151 Officer

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Worcestershire LEP Assurance Statement

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership prides itself on being an open and transparent organisation.

As such, Worcestershire LEP welcomed the Review of Local Enterprise Partnership Governance and Transparency by Mary Ney (published October 2017) and the Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships report (published July 2018) from government, which provided LEPs with some clear recommendations on best practice governance arrangements.

Over the last 12 months, Worcestershire LEP have implemented several recommendations from the LEP Review within the timescales set out by government and in parallel undertook an annual update of our Local Assurance Framework in May 2019.

Our LEP Board remains business-focussed, with new additions, as private sector members come to the end of their terms of office. The Board sets clear strategic priorities identified through our Strategic Economic Plan and this year has reviewed the vision of the partnership by providing strategic leadership.  The Board is led by a strong private sector Chair supported by a balance of public, private and education sector partners.

2019/20 has seen a real focus on developing our future economic strategy for the county to 2040, this is informed by an ambitious vision and exciting pipeline of schemes which would deliver further economic growth and productivity improvements for Worcestershire.  This work has been underpinned by robust and extensive stakeholder engagement and will be crystallised in our Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), which we intend to publish by the summer of 2020.

As you would expect, the organisational structure of the LEP has continued to evolve in 2019/20 to suit the thematic priorities of the organisation.  For example, this year we established a LIS Steering Group to inform the development of this work.  Similarly, we have also established a county-wide Energy Programme Board to oversee the implementation of our Energy strategy and to ensure it delivers on the strategic objectives set out.

We will continue to review the Worcestershire LEP organisational structure in 2020/21 to ensure it remains agile and fit for purpose to deliver on all our strategic priorities.  Our extensive stakeholder engagement programme which has been crucial in informing the development of our LIS has enabled the Worcestershire LEP Board and Executive to review the way the partnership engages with businesses in Worcestershire moving forward.  As a result, in 2020 the WLEP will adopt a different approach from a Business Board to ensure the County’s businesses continue to have the right platform to exchange knowledge, provide intelligence and become more involved in the delivery of our future strategy.

A core element of the success of Worcestershire LEP to date is the effective and trusted relationships that have been developed with partner organisations.  The LEP encourages partners to collaborate and challenge each other in order to maintain and deliver the high ambitions we collectively hold for the county.  We are active members of the Midlands Engine and are working in partnership with West Midlands 5G to secure the knowledge and learning from the 5G test bed focused on Industry 4.0 here in Worcestershire.

We have always taken a proactive approach to Governance and Transparency as evidenced by our attendance at the Accountable Body’s Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board in May 2019, which is an annual exercise (at a minimum) to ensure we are held accountable to the local area we serve.  In May 2019, we also received acknowledgement from CLGU’s compliance team that our Local Assurance Framework was compliant with National best practice.

Looking ahead, we will be holding our Annual Conference on 31 March 2020 where we will once again be welcoming delegates from the public, private, education and third sectors to showcase our achievements as a partnership and looking ahead to some of the challenges on the horizon.

We remain steadfastly committed to continuous improvement and fully recognise that our approach needs to be constantly challenged, tested and revised to ensure that we continue to exceed the expectations placed on us in our use of public sector resources.

Joint Statement from Chair, Mark Stansfeld and CEO, Gary Woodman on 17 February 2020