"East of England Regional Assembly"
EERA/EEDA Liaison Panel 13 May 2004 Item 10 Report: Report by: Background Review of EEDA’s sub-regional partnership working EERA Secretariat As part of a wider review of its partnership working with sister organisations EEDA is currently consulting on the arrangements it has in place to work with its sub-regional partnerships (aka LEPs). A LEP summit was held on 30 April 2004 to provide a forum for EEDA to explore this issue directly with the LEPs and other regional partners, including EERA and GO-East, and a brief oral report will be made to the Panel based on the summit discussions. The attached document was the principle discussion paper at the summit, and has been more widely circulated with a deadline for comments of 28 May 2004. The discussion paper invites comments on a series of questions throughout in italics and a number of key questions are posed at the end under the following headings: Character and capacity issues – agreeing flexible but effective management arrangements Engagement issues – working with a broad range of other local bodies, representation Governance issues – ensuring that consistent standards are in place Spatial issues – addressing the challenges of the new sub-regions. The LEPs currently play a significant role in the delivery of EEDA programmes as well as helping to ‘join up’ a range of economic regeneration initiatives at the sub-regional level. The current review is therefore of considerable importance and the Panel may wish to allocate a good proportion of its meeting time to this matter. Recommendation The Panel is asked to: i) consider the attached consultation paper regarding the review of EEDA’s sub-regional partnership working; and ii) make recommendations to the EERA Secretariat for incorporation into a formal response to EEDA. 1 Review of EEDA’s Sub-regional Partnership Working Consultation Document Contents Page 1. Introduction 2 2. Background 3 3. Strategic Context 8 4. Other RDA approaches to Sub-regional activity 14 5. Potential future roles for sub-regional Economic Partnerships 17 2 Introduction How can the East of England’s sub-regions fully contribute to and participate in our region’s development? How can EEDA support and develop the sub-regions to play these roles? These are vital questions for all of us over the coming period. At the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), there is a fresh impetus to the organisation as we move into our second five years. We have a massive agenda and will focus on eight strategic priorities over the next year – all aimed at bringing greater success and opportunity to our region. It is the right time for EEDA to assess how it can respond to the challenges outlined above. This consultation paper is part of a wider review of partnership arrangements with sister organisations. This is recognition of the fact that the contribution of partner organisations, both regionally and sub-regionally, is crucial to the East of England’s success. The purpose of this consultation paper is to initiate a debate on how EEDA can work more effectively with sub-regional economic partnerships. It provides a review of the existing arrangements. It then sets the strategic context in which the region is operating and suggests a number of areas for discussion. Different models of subregional partnership working from other regions have been explored to illustrate varying models in other areas. Finally, the paper suggests areas for consideration in taking the review forward and raises a number of questions, on which we welcome your input and feedback. The purpose of this review and the related summit is to enable EEDA to work in partnership more effectively. It is not an imposed review of Local Economic Partnerships, nor should it be. However we encourage radical and innovative input where possible. Key questions are listed at the end of the document to provide a framework for responses. The deadline for responses to this stage of the review is 28 May 2004. We will then consider feedback and produce a further paper with recommendations on the way EEDA engages with sub-regional partnerships in future for comment in mid-June. The EEDA Board will consider the paper in July. Our aim is to have any revised arrangements in place for April 2005. Your views are crucial in developing EEDA’s relationships with sub-regions and I look forward to discussing them with you at the meeting on 30 April and via the consultation process during May and June. David Marlow 3 1. Background Local Economic Partnerships Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) have been in existence since the mid 1990s and operate in one form or another across the UK. The model of partnership varies across the East of England, but essentially their primary role is to bring together public, private and in some cases voluntary sector bodies to develop the economy of a sub-region. The East of England has seven LEPs which, with the exception of Cambridgeshire are county based. The following section profiles each LEP. Bedfordshire and Luton Economic Development Partnership Bedfordshire and Luton Economic Development Partnership (BLEDP) was formed in 1998 by Chamber Business, Bedfordshire County Council, Luton Borough Council, Bedford Borough Council, Mid Bedfordshire District Council and South Bedfordshire District Council the Bedfordshire & Luton Learning and Skills Council (LSC), University of Luton, Cranfield University, De Montfort University, London Luton Airport, Bedfordshire Rural Affairs Forum and Government Office for the East of England. The accountable body is Bedfordshire County Council. Currently it operates as a loose association of partners but is aiming to become a company limited by guarantee in 2004. There are five members of staff. Essex Economic Partnership (EEP) / Essex Development Agency / Essex Prosperity Forum The EEP was formed in 1998 as an Essex-wide cross-sector economic development partnership. It was incorporated as a Guaranteed Company in 1999. The organisation has continued to mature and evolve; from April 2004 new arrangements will come into being with a separation between strategy and delivery. An Essex-wide Prosperity Forum will bring together public and private sector representation at a strategic level. A Chief Executives Group drawn from the four areas of Thames and Haven Gateways, Mid and West Essex, with Business Link, the LSC and a new agency, the Essex Development and Regeneration Agency will be responsible for the delivery of activities and alignment of resources. Greater Cambridge Partnership The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) is an informal partnership and was established in 1998. The membership of GCP is drawn from the public, private, community, voluntary and not-for-profit sectors across the Greater Cambridge which covers a 25 miles radius from the City, incorporating a number of administrative boundaries. The Operating Board is responsible for most of the day to day and operational issues. The over-arching Partnership Board deals with strategic matters and sets partnership policy. The accountable body for funding and host organisation for staff is Cambridgeshire County Council. GCP employs two and a half staff; a Partnership Director, a part-time Programme Manager and an Administrator. Greater Peterborough Partnership The Economic Development Group of the Greater Peterborough Local Strategic Partnership acts as the Local Economic Partnership, covering the area of Fenland and Peterborough City. It is an informal partnership which was established in 1988 with Peterborough City Council acting as the accountable body and host for staff. Greater Peterborough Partnership (GPP) employs three staff who focus on project development, management and monitoring. The members of the Group are drawn from the public, private and third sectors and include elected representatives from the city and district councils. 4 Hertfordshire Prosperity Hertfordshire Prosperity (HP) is an informal partnership and was established in 1995. The full membership of HP consists of 45 organisations drawn from the public, private, community, voluntary and not-for-profit sectors across Hertfordshire. A Steering Group of 11 representatives handles most of the operational issues. The accountable body for funding and host organisation for staff is Exemplas (Business Link Hertfordshire). Hertfordshire Prosperity employs two staff. Shaping the Future The Shaping the Future partnership brings together over 300 private, public and voluntary organisations to work to improve the performance of the Norfolk economy. It is not a constituted body and the accountable body for funding is Norfolk County Council. Partnership staff include a Partnership Director and a Partnership Manager with some admin support, they are hosted by Norfolk County Council. The partnership has two staff with some additional administrative support. Suffolk Development Agency The Suffolk Development Agency (SDA) was launched in 1999 as an informal association, but incorporation to SDA Ltd in 2004-5 is well underway. Approximately 30 organisations from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors are represented. The SDA has six members of staff and the accountable body is Suffolk County Council. After incorporation, the accountable body will transfer to SDA Ltd but Suffolk County Council will continue to manage the budget on the SDA’s behalf. In addition to these seven LEPs, two gateway regeneration partnerships have been formed to address particular geographic issues, in Haven Gateway and Thames Gateway South Essex. Haven Gateway Partnership The Haven Gateway Partnership was established two and a half years ago to build on a focus on the sectors of the sub-regional economy which are related to activity in the Haven ports (i.e. the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich, Ipswich, Mistley and surrounding hinterlands). The core partnership includes much of the Suffolk Coastal area, South Suffolk’s Babergh District, the Boroughs of Ipswich and Colchester as well as the north-east Essex District of Tendring. Tendring District Council currently provides secretarial and administrative support for the Partnership including approximately 1.5 posts. The Partnership has decided to defer incorporation to concentrate on delivery of projects in the short term. Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership The Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership (TGSEP) was formed in autumn 2001, with the founding partners including Basildon District Council, Castle Point District Council, EEDA, Essex County Council, Essex Economic Partnership, GOEast, Rochford District Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, and Thurrock Council. Having recently been subject to independent review, the partnership has consolidated its purpose and operations on providing the strategic lead on subregional issues facing South Essex. The Partnership was formally incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in April 2002. 5 Local Economic Partnerships and Local Regeneration Partnerships in the East of England Local Economic Partnerships Local Regeneration Partnerships Sub-regional partnerships and EEDA LEPs have been supported by EEDA over the past four financial years with average funding levels increasing from £100,000 in 2000/01 to £600,000 in 2004/05. An element of the funding has enabled each LEP to develop capacity in programme management. LEPs also derive income from other sources including local partners and draw down matching contributions to the EEDA funding, usually at a rate of 50:50 or higher. During 2003/04 LEPs took on the additional responsibility of managing part of EEDA’s rural renaissance budget. The level of funding varied to a greater degree (from £135,000 in Hertfordshire to £2,124,000 in Norfolk). By 2003/04 funding to LEPs, regeneration and rural partnerships accounted for 10 per cent of EEDA’s overall budget (fourteen per cent revenue and eight per cent capital funding respectively. 6 EEDA funding allocations and Tier 3 output achievement 2003/04 by LEP, Gateway and Rural Partnerships* l op Pe e ai tr k n d ai or de tr -w ar le in op gu in fe Pe le d sa te op ea Pe bs cr Jo bs d te Jo ac tr at s ps se tu es ar in St l s us ta B es To in w ro B ie nf o Pe us B ne d ta ob in r ea tr he ot nd d La ne ld ls ai tr ua Q e pl ed ta ob in ev R ue en in a le in ap C l ita g d te g bs jo i rn ng a) (h Local Economic Partnership Beds & Luton ED Partnership Essex Economic Partnership Greater Cambridge Partnership Greater Peterborough Partnership Hertfordshire Prosperity Forum Norfolk Shaping the Future Suffolk Development Agency Regeneration Partnership Haven Gateway Partnership Thames Gateway Partnership Rural Partnership Beds & Luton Essex Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Hertfordshire Norfolk Suffolk TOTAL 285,000 270,000 261,000 239,000 285,000 317,000 429,000 250,000 350,000 280,000 280,000 221,000 194,000 250,000 301,000 371,000 565,000 550,000 482,000 433,000 535,000 618,000 800,000 17.5 47.2 4.5 3 3.5 2.6 289 9.2 0.04 8.7 55.6 22.5 18.4 1.8 8.1 1.8 3.1 0.6 0.7 13 444 7.3 3.5 9.6 163.7 18.4 250,000 500,000 750,000 1,100,000 99,100 50,150 149,250 260,000 220,503 480,503 45,835 70,250 116,085 3.4 136,306 38,125 174,431 11.3 90,418 40,151 130,569 0.5 600,000 1,524,258 2,124,258 496,972 300,000 796,972 4,414,631 5,140,437 9,555,068 338.9 21.5 2.1 30.9 13.3 11.9 12.4 16.4 5 1 0.9 4 9.9 2.2 851.3 34.3 5.6 198.4 495.2 49.0 34.8 1,175.8 543.0 275.2 48.9 16.9 0.4 309.7 1.3 1.3 *Outputs are based on 2003/04 Final claim data where available at 21/04/04 - yet to be validated/completed by some partnerships LEPs undertake a wide variety of activities to reflect sub-regional needs. An analysis of the partnerships’ 2004/05 business plans shows that the majority of EEDA supported activity is broadly focused towards: Research and feasibility studies Innovation Skills and training Business start up/social enterprise IT/website/broadband development Inward investment Specific sectoral activity Management and administration costs amongst LEPs vary significantly as do the amounts of leverage generated. Whilst the level of resource applied varies, there are certain core functions that are undertaken by all LEPs to a greater or lesser extent. These include: Strategy development Economic research Capacity building Brokerage/facilitation Consultation/representation Programme management In many cases these functions are undertaken in response to regional demands. For example, LEPs are playing a key role in the consultation process for the RES Review and in the annual accountability meetings organised jointly with the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA). EEDA is keen to gain views on how the relationship between EEDA and LEPs has evolved and developed over the past five years and in particular, areas of success and areas for improvement. 7 2. Strategic Context The East of England is a region that increasingly knows where it is going. For example, the draft new Regional Economic Strategy (RES) has described the vision and headline direction of the region as demonstrated in the following diagram: BUILDING ON OUR STRENGTHS Science and Innovation International Gateways and Transport Corridors Food, Farming and Renewable Energy CAPITALISING ON DISTINCTIVE OPPORTUNITIES &CHALLENGES IMPROVING AREAS OF AVERAGE OR POOR PERFORMANCE Deprivation & Social inclusion Managing Growth & Development Sensitively & Effectively ‘a leading economy, founded on our world -class knowledge base and the creativity and enterprise of our people, in order to improve the quality of life of all who live and work here’ Complementing & Enhancing London as a World City Enterprise & Productivity Skills & Human Capital Sustainable Development Urban & Rural Vitality Equality & Diversity Regional Leadership Coherence & Cohesion EMBEDDING UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES Similarly regional institutions and prioritisation arrangements are developing apace. Although frameworks are still evolving, there are an increasing number of executive and stakeholder groups determining regional priorities within an overall regional framework which is illustrated below: Integrated Regional Strategy and Core Regional strategies (e.g RES, RPG, RSS, SDF etc.) KEY THEMATIC PARTNERSHIPS – with each Partnership responsible for delivery of specific RES goals and/or results Regional Skills Partnership Regional Skills and Competitiveness Forum Sustainable Development Round Table Regional Housing Board Science & Industry Council Regional Planning Body Regional Transport Forum Regional Centre for Excellence in Regeneration and Renewal REGIONAL STAKEHOLDER GROUPS / NETWORKS - feeding into partnerships and executive prioritisation etc East of England Business Group EEBG Community and Voluntary Forum Eastern Region Association of Universities East of England Rural Affairs Forum East of England Regional Assembly panels Sector & Cluster Groups Sub - Regional and Local Strategic Partnerships and Community Strategies 8 These emerging models have major implications for sub-regional and local strategic partnerships. The situation at sub-regional level is increasingly complex and multilayered. For instance, regionally, the draft of the Regional Planning Guidance for the East of England (RPG 14) has illustrated new economic sub-regions. Source:EERA In addition, sub regional arrangements for housing, Growth Areas, the Sustainable Communities Plan and other sectors and follow neither traditional nor RPG subregional boundaries. Recent EEDA discussions with Government Office and EERA have indicated a need for greater synergy in managing relationships between regional organisations and LEPs and LSPs. As a focus for EEDA’s activities in the short term, EEDA’s Board has recently agreed its seven strategic priorities for the 2004/05 financial year. These are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Tackling skills gaps and shortages Business support infrastructure and services Developing the region’s science, technology and innovation assets Delivering the opportunities of the Growth Areas and urban renaissance Tackling deprivation and promoting community regeneration Rural and sustainable economic development International gateways and transport corridors of national significance 9 The strategic priorities demonstrate synergy with the emerging RES goals. Whilst the review of sub-regional partnership working is not an explicit activity contained within the priorities, it is necessary to examine the sub-regional dimension to the seven priorities and explore related issues and opportunities. Some priorities have a stronger relationship with LEP roles than others. Whilst recognising the independence of LEPs, we seek to establish the potential roles for LEPs in addressing these priorities in partnership with EEDA. Tackling skills gaps and shortages During 2004/05 EEDA will be playing a lead role in the formation of a Regional Skills Partnership. This builds on the progress made in the Framework for Regional Employment and Skills Action (FRESA) over the previous year. This activity is being taken forward in parallel with the review of Business Support in order to maximise synergies in the two areas. EEDA welcomes views on what role LEPs can play in tackling skills gaps and shortages, progressing the FRESA sub-regionally and engaging with Local Learning Partnerships. Business support infrastructure and services As confirmed in the Chancellor’s recent Budget statement, RDAs will be taking on the management of Business Link branded business support services from SBS by April 2005. This is a significant change and EEDA is already in discussion with SBS and the six Business Link operators on how best to manage and deliver business support services via a proposed Regional Skills and Competitiveness Partnership. Initial discussions have indicated that there may be a potential role for LEPs in any sub-regional dimension of the management of business support activity. EEDA seeks LEP suggestions on the nature of that role and identification of the added value LEPs could bring to the process. Developing the region’s science, technology and innovation assets The region has world class assets in science, technology and innovation but could be doing more to utilise these assets. Crucial to this is the development of relationships between higher education (HE) institutions and local businesses. We would be interested to hear what role LEPs can play in taking forward the region’s priorities for science, technology and innovation and how HE and Further Education (FE) institutions can be engaged on a sub-regional basis to make it happen. Delivering the opportunities of the Growth Areas and urban renaissance The recent announcement on expansion of the M11 corridor growth means that the majority of the region is impacted in one form or another from the new Growth Areas which form part of the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan. For the first time the RES will contain a framework for delivering the strategy on a sub-regional level, drawing principally on the draft RPG14, the Regional Housing Strategy and the DTZ study on economic sub-regions conducted in 2002. Further details of the sub-regions and respective delivery vehicles are contained below. 10 1 Thames Gateway South Essex 2 Local Delivery Vehicle Basildon Southend-on-Sea Thurrock Castle Point Rochford 3 Limited Liability Partnership Urban Regeneration Company Urban Development Corporation Informal arrangements (tbc) Informal arrangements (tbc) London Stansted Cambridge 4 Peterborough Peterborough sub-region (city centre) Cambridge sub-region Stansted Harlow sub-region tbc Stevenage sub-region tbc 5 Milton Keynes/South Midlands Bedford/Kempston Luton Dunstable Houghton Regis 6 Urban Regeneration Company Limited Liability Partnership Limited Liability Partnership tbc Growth Areas in the East of England Growth Areas Other sub-regions as defined in the revised RES include: Haven Gateway Kings Lynn East Norfolk and North East Suffolk Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft (Urban Regeneration Company) Norwich The scale of investment in these areas is massive and raises a number of issues on EEDA’s management of spatial projects and activities. The Local Delivery Vehicles have a clear and defined agenda, however it is important for the LDVs to ensure that the wider sub-regional impact of their activities is maximised in a positive manner. 11 EEDA would like to gather views on how LEPs can effectively engage with and support the work undertaken by the Local Delivery Vehicles, particularly where the Growth Areas and other sub-regions cross LEP boundaries. Tackling deprivation and promoting community regeneration During 2003/04 EEDA introduced the Investing in Communities programme. LEPs have already played a key role in co-ordinating sub-regional consultation on the programme. When the programme was launched in December 2003, LEPs were viewed as the most appropriate organisations to lead on the development of future projects on a sub-regional basis. At the moment LEPs are preparing submissions to EEDA for delivery in 2004/05. The delivery mechanisms are likely to vary from sub-region to sub-region to reflect local needs. However, LEPs have played a crucial brokerage role in pulling together partners and projects into a more strategic approach to tackle regeneration issues. EEDA and Government Office are keen to ensure that there are strong relationships between LEPs and Local Strategic Partnerships, particularly where the LSP focus is on a county or unitary basis. We would welcome feedback on how successful the process and approach has been, and what further role (if any) LEPs could play in tackling deprivation. In particular, we are interested in any proposals for greater engagement with Local Strategic Partnerships. Rural and sustainable economic development It is not possible to provide as much detail for rural activity as so much is dependent on the current Modernising Rural Delivery review. However, there is an expectation that RDAs will have an enhanced role and this will ultimately impact on sub-regions. EEDA has considerably developed the LEP role in managing rural activity over the past two years, particularly where there was little or no role in the past. EEDA seeks comments on the LEP role in managing rural activity and would welcome suggestions for more effective management arrangements in the light of outcomes from the Modernising Rural Delivery review. International gateways and transport corridors of national significance Whilst this activity is of both regional and national significance, there are specific issues which have enormous impact on sub-regions. The two gateway partnerships will obviously play a key role here but as important is the need for a dialogue between sub-regions, particularly where views may differ. EEDA is keen to hear proposals on how LEPs can work together more effectively to take forward the cross-boundary transport issues that impact on sub-regions. Where LEPs border on neighbouring regions, we would be interested in views on what role they could play in engaging their sub-regional counterparts on key issues. Additional issues In order to deliver the agenda above, changes in a number of different management functions and processes across EEDA may be necessary. It is expected therefore that as a result of this review, EEDA will need to reassess the resources needed to manage its relationships with sub-regional partnerships. 12 This review is being undertaken within a wider review of EEDA’s sister organisations including Invest East of England and East of England Tourist Board. LEPs are already engaged to varying degrees in their activities on a sub-regional basis. LEP views are sought on how effective existing management arrangements have been and how they could be developed in the future. We would also welcome views on how LEPs can work more effectively with regional sister organisations, particularly in relation to inward investment and tourism activity. 13 3. Other RDA approaches to sub-regional activity All RDAs have some form of sub-regional engagement and/or delivery function although the approach taken varies considerably. Below are three case studies from other regions which illustrate the different nature and scale of sub-regional partnership working. Two are from neighbouring regions where the economic climate has some similarity to the East of England. The third is from the North East and offers a more radical approach to sub-regional activity. South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) SEEDA revised its approach to sub-regional development during 2003/03 by identifying nine priority areas for regeneration. Thames Gateway Kent East Kent – including the former East Kent Coalfield Channel Corridor Coastal East Sussex Brighton and Hove Coastal West Sussex Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Southampton The Isle of Wight Each priority area is subject to the production of an Area Investment Framework (AIF). Each AIF identifies and prioritises programmes with the full involvement of local partners to ensure the closest possible consistency with sub-regional strategies. Delivery arrangements are then put in place appropriate to the needs and existing institutions in each priority regeneration area, including an appropriate Board for each area. Beyond the priority regeneration areas, there is no requirement to prepare an Area Investment Framework, although the existence of an overall framework will be important in prioritising a context to justify individual project submissions. This context is provided via the strategies from the 11 residual economic partnerships in the region. SEEDA has provided between £500,000 and £1 million to initiate the development of AIFs and resulting action plans, although the funding is not intended to substitute for other local funding streams. SEEDA has also restructured over the past year to incorporate this change in approach. The five operational divisions across SEEDA also have a notional subregional responsibility. In addition there are four dedicated area teams. The teams usually comprise a director, an area manager, an area co-ordinator and a team assistant. All of SEEDA’s funding which has a geographic focus is managed by the area teams, which at the moment incorporate SRB activity, enterprise hubs and inward investment functions amongst others. Whilst it is too early to evaluate fully the success of the approach (some AIFs are working well where as others are less so), informal feedback suggests it has been welcomed on a sub-regional level. 14 East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) In 2001, seven Sub-regional Strategic Partnerships (SSPs) were formed in response to a request from EMDA. The SSPs, which were developed from existing local economic partnerships in the region, bring together a wide range of interests – including business, public sector, voluntary and community groups. The SSPs are Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership Alliance SSP Lincolnshire Enterprise Greater Nottingham Partnership Leicester Shire Partnership The Welland Partnership Northamptonshire Partnership The main purpose of the development of SSPs is to deliver the Regional Economic Strategy in local communities at a sub-regional level. The Welland and Alliance SSPs actually overlap other SSP boundaries in order to deal with issues and activities which economically span administrative boundaries. Each SSP had to meet a specific set of criteria to be able to receive EMDA funding. For example, to become an accountable body the Leicestershire Partnership was incorporated in 2002. The incorporated Leicester Partnership now has a Board of 16 Directors and seven observers. The Chair and Vice Chair are representatives of the business community and, as well as other business representatives, the Directors represent the City, County and District Councils, other public bodies, the sub-regional universities and the voluntary and community sector. Observers are from EMDA, Government Office for the East Midlands, Business Link, the Police and City, County and District Council In terms of funding, the SSPs were required to put in place a number of systems for the processing and administration of grant: project application procedures which are based on EMDA’s system a formal tender process dealing with procurement of services and contracts a comprehensive appraisal and approval system with a panel of appraisers independent of the SSP established model contracts prepared for agreements with those delivery programmes a payment system (to ensure that grant payments are made effectively to delivery bodies and those providing goods and services) a monitoring system to ensure contract compliance and output delivery an evaluation system to assess the impact of the programme. In return for these structural changes the seven SSPs were able to access £38 million (total) per year from EMDA to deliver sub-regional programmes. The funding is agreed over a three-year strategic plan period. The benefit of the approach is that it enables consistency across the sub-regions in terms of management and delivery. However the approach could be described as prescriptive. 15 One NorthEast One NorthEast has considerably developed its approach to sub-regional partnership working, perhaps further than any other RDA. The agency works with four Subregional Partnerships (SRPs) made up of representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors: Northumberland Strategic Partnership Tynewear Partnership County Durham Partnership Tees Valley Partnership In April 2002, One NorthEast decided to devolve 75 per cent of its resources to the four Sub-regional Partnerships. This funding has been agreed on the basis of a rolling 3 year Action Plan and more detailed one year Delivery Plan, to be submitted to the Agency by the SRPs each year. The Agency will facilitate the delivery of strategic regional initiatives using the remaining 25 per cent of its budget. The RDA’s structure reflects the highly devolved nature of the model with the other functions of the RDA being Strategy and External Affairs, Innovation and ICT, Finance and Operations. As with EMDA, the high levels of delegated funding involved required the subregional partners to develop their own capacity and necessitated changes in terms of structure and corporate governance. With a budget of over six times the level of EEDA’s the economies of scale make this approach more viable. The downside of the model is that the LEPs are in effect mini RDA delivery agents and one could question their independence. Conclusions All three case studies demonstrate different approaches to sub-regional partnership working. The SEEDA model which prioritises distinct areas based on regenerations needs could be adopted in the East of England when looking at the Growth Areas, for example. The One NorthEast model effectively places sub-regional economic partnerships as delivery vehicles for regional programmes. The EMDA model is provides a middle ground but all three would require significant changes to the structure and constitution of the existing economic partnerships in the region. EEDA welcomes views on these models, particularly whether elements of any of these models would add value to the existing management arrangements. 16 4. Potential future roles for Sub-Regional Partnership Working The paper highlights that there are clearly a number of challenges facing EEDA and the East of England over the next five years. If we are to address these challenges and bring greater success and opportunity to the east of England, EEDA will be looking for: Sub-regional strategies aligned to the revised RES Clear mechanisms for engaging LSPs and other local agencies collectively on wider issues Strong involvement of business stakeholders and a strong business voice at sub-regional and local level Sub-regional leadership and development of local and sub-regional capacity Mobilisation of ‘sounding boards’ for policy and strategy issues affecting subregions Effective delivery and delivery management capacity and capability for sub regional and local programmes and projects EEDA believes that it is necessary to agree a core set of minimum standards and deliverables which satisfy the above objectives, as a requirement of EEDA funding, from April 2005. EEDA also wishes to ensure that there are flexible but effective management arrangements for sub-regional delivery of programmes, Sub-regional Economic Partnerships may choose to play a lead or supporting role in this area. The paper has raised a wide number of issues for discussion and comment, however comments and views are particularly sought on the following four areas of Subregional Economic Partnership (SREP) activity. Character and capacity issues – agreeing flexible but effective management arrangements Engagement issues– working with a broad range of other local bodies, representation Governance issues – ensuring that consistent standards are in place Spatial issues – addressing the challenges of the new sub-regions Character and capacity issues 1. What role could Sub-regional Economic Partnerships play in the delivery management of EEDA programmes and if so how? 2. Should EEDA continue a uniform allocation to SREPs? If not, what would be appropriate allocations criteria and how should allocations be varied across the region? 3. How do we ensure consistency in terms of Value for Money for activity managed or delivered by SREPs on behalf of EEDA? 17 Engagement issues 4. How can Sub-regional Economic Partnerships work more effectively with other sister organisations, for example, in relation to Inward Investment or Tourism? 5. How can Sub-regional Economic Partnerships demonstrate that they are adequately representational e.g. business and voluntary sectors? 6. How can Sub-regional Economic Partnerships engage more effectively with other local bodies such as LSPs, LDVs etc. and how could there be a clearer definition of relative roles and responsibilities? Governance issues 7. How can Sub-regional Economic Partnerships meet EEDA’s desire for strong business leadership and representation? 8. Should Sub-regional Economic Partnerships ensure that they have representational boards, independent of any one major organisation? 9. If Sub-regional Economic Partnerships wish to manage greater levels of EEDA funding would they prepared to agree a common accountable body specification and if so, what should this include? Spatial issues 10. How do Sub-regional Economic Partnerships respond to the new geographic priorities set out in the RES? 11. How can Sub-regional Economic Partnerships work together beyond administrative (and in some cases, regional) boundaries on key issues? 12. How can EEDA and Sub-regional Economic Partnerships agree roles and responsibilities in this area? Conclusions EEDA wishes to hear how we define and build its relationships with the partnerships needed to address the challenges ahead. Sub-regional partnerships – whether based on Growth Areas, RPG sub-regions, counties, or some other configuration – need to be able to interpret flexibly the RES and other key regional strategies and apply them in their sub-regions. How to respond We welcome your views on the above questions and look forward to your responses. Please send your comments to: Rachel Bosworth Director of Communications East of England Development Agency The Business Centre Station Road Histon Cambridge CB4 9LQ e-mail: email@example.com 18