By Claire West

Commenting on the release of the Local Growth White Paper, and the confirmation that 24 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) will be set up in various areas of England, David Frost, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Companies up and down the country tell me they are ready and willing to work with local councils to ensure that our towns and cities are open for business. In return for their time and energy, however, local businesses want to know exactly how the new Local Enterprise Partnerships will make it easier for them to tackle the problems with planning, skills and transport that stifle private sector growth.

“The White Paper is a good start — but it is only a start. In order to keep business on board, LEPs will need to launch with a laser-beam focus on business growth — and concentrate on ‘getting the basics right’. This will give local businesspeople greater confidence in their area, and the chance to invest and create jobs.

“At the same time, business expects a clear growth strategy from the Government — a national strategy that delivers on the Prime Minister’s recent commitment to a ‘pro-enterprise agenda.”