Thursday, 9 December 2010

Optimism for a Pennine Lancashire LEP

Yesterday I spoke with ministers and feel confident that a Pennine Lancashire LEP will be given the green light.

It has become clear that Pendle, Hyndburn, Blackburn and Burnley Councils are opposed to the incomplete Lancashire County Council LEP proposal.

The minister has always expressed concerns over a lack of agreement and the coverage of the whole of Lancashire. In absence of any leadership at Hyndburn Council, The Mayor has written the Minister confirming Hyndburn Council's position.

Though a 'reaffirm vote' was defeated by the 17 Conservatives, the absence of indeopndent members opposed to a LCC's proposals still leaves it difficult for Hyndburn Council to get through a vote to reverse the Councils position adopted earlier this year in favour of Pennine Lancashire LEP.

There is a question that given such vociferous opposition to the LCC proposal whether any support, financial or otherwise, would be given to a wider Lancashire LEP.

I have lobbied continually in Parliament to ensure that we have a sensible two LEP solution. Hyndburn's best interests in my view lie with a local Pennine Lancashire LEP.

Things look very encouraging.