• Whitehall mandarins admit that they do not assess what impact £12bn of taxpayers’ money has on local economic growth

    July, 2019
    In its review this month of the 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) - the private sector-led partnerships between businesses and local public sector bodies that support local economic growth - the powerful Public Accounts Committee (‘PAC’ or the ‘Committee’) of the House of Commons found that from 2015-16 to date; £9.1bn of taxpayers’ money has been awarded to LEPs through three tranches of Growth Deals with a further £3bn allocated via other means. The PAC found that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (‘the Ministry’ or ‘the Department’) does not to evaluate the Local Growth Fund which means it has no understanding what impact spending through LEPs has on local economic growth. The Committee observed that the Department chose not to set quantifiable objectives for Growth Deals and that its assertion that every £1 of local growth funding could generate £4.81 in benefits was an unsubstantiated estimate. It found that the Department does receive quarterly performance data from LEPs but fails to use this to measure what value for money LEPs have delivered. Also mandarins were not able to give MPs examples of the private sector match funding and investment generated through LEPs. Civil servants did commit to include...