Commentators are beginning to digest the recommendations contained in Lord Heseltine’s report on regional growth. David Cameron praised the report as excellent. Birmingham City Council’s initial reaction has been extremely positive, according to the Birmingham Post. The FT advises caution on calls for decentralisation, pointing out that the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) that shout the loudest may get the funding. Those LEPs may not have the necessary expertise to spend wisely, the paper contends. John Longworth head of the British Chambers of Commerce is quoted in the FT on LEPS: “Some LEPS are fantastic, but others are appalling, with unwieldy boards and too many objectives. On these, local councils are too dominant and businesses have given up because the bureaucracy is too great”. The FT also reports that some LEP leaders are threatening to walk out unless they can make “real progress on the ground” soon.
This was snippet of news that l thought required a deeper thought process as to the how, what and why this will not work, in practice! On the face of it Mr Heseltine was commissioned to provide a report to try to whiten, an already tarnished reputation! As had previously been reported in numerous papers that Cameron and Osborne, are out of touch with the general public.
This report seems to be trying to make a ” silk purse out of a sow’s ear” as these so-called austerity measures, really only help those that have plenty and leave those who do not, worse off! This may seem like a good thing and it is so easy to use the previous governments track record, to blame for our massive indebtedness.
Though if we look deeper we see the cracks appearing way back when this government held sway, with a so-called ” iron lady “ at the helm. Even though we know iron rusts albeit slowly, so this new raft of plans that has been floated, seems a little unsteady in the economic water. The fact that a few of the same organisations and defenders of the government strategy, utter words of praise, they all add a cautionary note of ” it better work and soon” what l ask! Or maybe l should say ” how “ because that is what alludes this government, simply how do we gain growth and still keep inflation low and at the same time reduce employment and finally most important keep our voters, happy!
The answer is they cannot as one will outweigh the other as we all know and then its back to the drawing board and they start over again, the problem with this new report and it is a real problem – Cameron and Osborne have to first agree and then give something away!
This is simply POWER over the budgetary cheque-book for councils to have the POWER to spend the money their way, without knowing whether it will work! If it does not and when all the money will have been spent! We will all be in a worst debt situation, than we were before! That is apart from the rich and those that decided this new raft would not sink! But really of all the rafts that have so far been been built, by this government all have sunk without trace! So why do they think it will work this time!
Personally at this stage in the proceedings l do not see this government giving anything away, unless it gets something in return in the first place, do you!
- No stone unturned – Heseltine’s economic plan for the UK (centreforcities.typepad.com)