By Claire West

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which represents 100,000 companies across the country, will appear in front of the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee today (Tuesday). The organisation’s Director of Policy, Dr Adam Marshall, will give evidence on the Coalition’s plans for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Last week, the Government received 56 bid proposals from various stakeholders who hope to establish LEPs. Many of these submissions were from local Chambers of Commerce working in partnership with local authorities and the wider businesses community.

In the BCC’s official response to the BIS Committee’s inquiry into the Government’s plans to establish LEPs in England, the organisation argued for LEPs to fundamentally challenge the status quo — creating a stronger enterprise culture in local areas across the UK.

Commenting ahead of the Select Committee evidence session, Dr Adam Marshall, said:

“Given the extensive track record of Chambers of Commerce and their members in driving local economic development, we are confident that Chambers will continue to play a central role in the implementation of LEPs.

“LEPs must be transformative — with an innovative and clear vision for local economic change, driven jointly by private and public sector actors. If they become a new vehicle for ‘business as usual’, either as consultative talking-shops or day-to-day delivery bodies, they will fail to deliver the fundamental shift toward private-sector-led growth that so many areas across England require.”