Published at 07:42, Wednesday, 02 January 2013
THE Government’s thinking on devolving power to the provinces is fine in theory, but based upon similar experiences in the past, is bad in practice.
Putting billions of pounds in the hands of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) is fine as long as these funds are entirely strategically used and not provided for pet subjects or diverted to other ways and means by our councils.
The, ‘we know best brigade’ who never really know best as our stagnant economy shows clearly.
In this respect the former Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) when analysed in-depth were pronounced a non-productive entity when it came to overall economic benefits and most of what happened would have happened organically according to independent reports.
We do not want more of the same, but real change for new jobs and wealth creation.
Indeed, as the primary mover of all new wealth is the commercial exploitation of ‘innovation’, LEPs have to concentrate on building the creative infrastructure first where all the creative thinking of local people can be brought to bear on the problem, not just academia and business whose combination has not faired that good economically over the past quarter of a century.
Therefore the LEPs have to be different and not just establishment people, pure academics, innovative illiterate businessmen, celebrities and political figures.
If this happens again with the LEPs they will be another disastrous failure.
It is therefore imperative that we have ‘applied’ creative thinkers in the driving seat this time around and not non-performing minds that have not a clue what economic regeneration is all about.
DR DAVID HILL,
World Innovation Foundation,
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk