England & Wales Democracy, devolution and governance , Economy and regeneration

Local authorities and economic development in 2013 – can local dynamism counter a national low growth economy?

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Summary

The global economic outlook is uncertain. National forecasts show a continuation of a lengthy period of low growth (at best). The need for local authorities (LAs) to contribute to and lead local growth has, arguably, never been greater.

Doing this effectively requires LAs to understand, plan and manage both their local economy, and the major changes the coalition government has made to the sub-national economic development landscape since 2010.

During the latter half of 2012, LGIU produced a number of briefings on key aspects of this changed landscape – LEPs, city deals, autumn statement etc. This briefing builds on these to provide a checklist of considerations for LAs in terms of economic development as we enter 2013.

Understanding the local economy, a vision and strategy for the future, strategic relationship management, capacity and capability to intervene effectively, and engaging with national and EU opportunities are each examined as key components of a local approach. Pulling these together in a ‘city deal’ or an economic chapter of a ‘whole place community budget’ is a major undertaking, but can arguably provide a coherent foundation for 2013 efforts and energies.

This briefing will be of particular interest to LA leadership and policy teams with economic responsibilities, their partners especially in LEPs (local enterprise partnerships), and to economic development and related professional teams.

This briefing is also part of a series where we are looking back and looking ahead at key issues – health and social care and planning briefings will be published shortly.

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