Home > News > SWM News

Our comment: Resurrection of the Regions, Changing Weather, Business Growth

Resurrection of the Regions?

April has seen signs of revival in regional leadership required by our roadmap 2020 priorities for a better region. The tension between the EU requirements for future regional funding, and the government’s regional carve up outside London, has resulted in none of the 39 draft Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) EU funding strategies being approved. Feedback indicates that all LEPs need to demonstrate more cross-LEP working and collaboration within shared economic geography and ongoing strategic commitment to sustainability and adaptation. We are working with several West Midlands LEPs to address this. In Birmingham, Labour launched a manifesto commitment to accelerate the stalled implementation of the government commissioned Heseltine report. This includes the rapid transfer of powers, money and responsibility on economic growth to ‘city regions’ of combined local authorities at the centre of a wider local economic geography or partnership. Also, Ed Miliband committed to the reintroduction of regional ministers to fight for local and joined up delivery within the centralised silos of Whitehall. SWM has previously provided advice to regional minsters and Heseltine. The players may change, but our research has shown that competitive low carbon places require local empowered leadership at a city region scale.

Changing Weather?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the second and third parts of its new assessment on the state of knowledge on climate change which was widely covered in national media. However in terms of local impacts our work on the regional version of the recent UK assessment remains the most up to date summary. Why not join us on 16 May with SWM members Aston Villa and the Environment Agency when we explore what this means for local businesses?

Business Growth?

We have just completed the prestigious Goldman Sachs top 10,000 business growth programme. As a result, our Board have approved our priorities for the next three years to help us continue to grow the impact of our mission. We would recommend any other social enterprises and small businesses looking to grow responsibly to find out more about this course run locally by SWM member, Aston University. Dr Simon Slater, on behalf of the SWM team.

Related content