Essex business partnership ridiculed by Colchester MP

IF Essex didn’t have anything in common with East Sussex...it does now.

The counties have joined forces – along with Kent – to form a Local Enterprise Partnership, or Lep.

It is the largest partnership of its kind in the country, but has also been described by Colchester MP Bob Russell as the most barking decision made by the Government.

The partnership, an idea put forward by the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition, is designed to create jobs, improve roads, build infrastructure and boost the economy.

But Mr Russell blasted: “Local? Brighton is 110 miles from Colchester.

“Here in north Essex, we barely recognise the south of the county, let alone the opposite bank of the Thames in Kent.

“As for East Sussex, there is zero community of interest between Britain’s oldest recorded town and Brighton, which Private Eye (the satirical magazine) calls Skidrow on Sea.”

Mr Russell has written to Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, asking him to reconsider. His letter says: “I urge you not to proceed with this nonsense. It is anything but local.

“North Essex is already very much the poor relation in the county of Essex, where infrastructure is always last and comes after consideration for mid Essex and south Essex.

“Colchester is badly neglected by County Hall. Under the proposed Local Enterprise Partnership, we would be even more isolated than is currently the case.”

Mr Russell said it would have been more sensible for Essex, or at least north Essex, to instead forge links with local authorities in Suffolk.

Colchester Council and Tendring Council signalled support for a Local Enterprise Partnership involving Suffolk and Kent.

No Lep incorporating Suffolk has yet been approved and because Essex, Kent and East Sussex has been given the go-ahead, it seems likely Colchester and Tendring councils will be involved.

The partnership, due to begin in April 2011, will cover almost four million people, 130,000 companies and more than 1.3 million jobs.

The combined area is bigger than 13 European countries and has a combined economy of £55billion.

The new Local Enterprise Partnership will include Greater Essex, Kent and East Sussex, with councils and businesses hoping to make it an economic force.

Proposals already outlined include a lower Thames crossing and improvements to the A12.

The partnership is looking to build closer links between the region’s universities, businesses and local authorities.

Sir Mike Hodgkinson, chairman of the Essex Business Consortium, said: “The new relationship proposed by central Government offers us the freedom to focus on local priorities for the benefit of residents and businesses alike.”

Peter Martin, leader of Essex County Council, added: “This announcement gives us greater control on making sure money and support is put where it is really needed in order to generate what is best for our local areas.

“We know what is best for our businesses and residents.

“We welcome this acceptance by Whitehall that we are best placed to deliver economic growth and stability for our communities.”

The partnership will include the three county councils, along with the Southend Borough Council and Thurrock Council, as unitary authorities.

A proposal for a joint Essex and Kent Local Enterprise Partnership was submitted in September, which grew to include East Sussex.

Those involved in the partnership met at the House of Lords on Monday to discuss the options available.

The Government has championed the creation of up to 36 Local Enterprise Partnerships to replace the nine regional development agencies it axed earlier this year.

They will give “strategic direction” to local economies.

Plans put forward in the Essex and Kent bid included regenerating south Essex and north Kent, and developing major transport infrastructure in the region, such as the Dartford Crossing and the M25.

It is hoped the partnership will be able to collect and redistribute business tax revenues, which go straight to the Government at the moment.

Central government funding will not be given for administrative costs, but money for local projects will be allocated by the new bodies.

The partnerships will be run by a strategic board with members from across the authorities.

Comments (13)

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2:19pm Thu 4 Nov 10

Boris says...

As a rule I support Bob Russell but he is out of order on this one. He should leave the abusive nicknames to Private Eye. We have places closer to home which might qualify for the title Skid Row On Sea, or even Skid Row on St Botolph's Roundabout. Brighton is a fine city, with a Green MP and a good football team, and is therefore to be admired and not used for silly jibes.
As a rule I support Bob Russell but he is out of order on this one. He should leave the abusive nicknames to Private Eye. We have places closer to home which might qualify for the title Skid Row On Sea, or even Skid Row on St Botolph's Roundabout. Brighton is a fine city, with a Green MP and a good football team, and is therefore to be admired and not used for silly jibes. Boris

3:30pm Thu 4 Nov 10

totallyfootball says...

When have you known Bob Russell to do anything else but silly jibes its his level? I Can't remember the last useful thing that he did!
When have you known Bob Russell to do anything else but silly jibes its his level? I Can't remember the last useful thing that he did! totallyfootball

4:54pm Thu 4 Nov 10

Feisty CBC says...

Don't forget our Gazette is printed in Brighton Bob!
Don't forget our Gazette is printed in Brighton Bob! Feisty CBC

5:44pm Thu 4 Nov 10

Anna Key says...

Brighton is a fine city set amid the beautiful South Downs - a mate of mine lives there and I normally spend a few weekends a year down there. As Boris says, Bob shouldn't be knocking the place. But other than that, Bob surely has a point? This seems a quite bizarre manipulation of geography, how are we in any way related to Sussex or Kent?
Brighton is a fine city set amid the beautiful South Downs - a mate of mine lives there and I normally spend a few weekends a year down there. As Boris says, Bob shouldn't be knocking the place. But other than that, Bob surely has a point? This seems a quite bizarre manipulation of geography, how are we in any way related to Sussex or Kent? Anna Key

5:54pm Thu 4 Nov 10

Anna Key says...

Feisty CBC wrote:
Don't forget our Gazette is printed in Brighton Bob!
It took jobs out the area. Hardly seems a good argument for this. Unless perhaps we form a partnership with all of China?
[quote][p][bold]Feisty CBC[/bold] wrote: Don't forget our Gazette is printed in Brighton Bob![/p][/quote]It took jobs out the area. Hardly seems a good argument for this. Unless perhaps we form a partnership with all of China? Anna Key

6:42am Fri 5 Nov 10

Mr Anory. Jack says...

With comments like:-
"Colchester Council and Tendring Council signalled support for a Local Enterprise Partnership involving Suffolk and Kent".
making more sence than inviting all and sundry to join in the failing of local government, but even Tendring has lost its self with its stance on Bathside Bay expansion @ harwich.
If ever there was one hope lost, it was this one.
To join with Kent is not as mad as it may seem, for I can see kent from my home on a good "day", as I can also see the nightime light pollution being emitted from Colchester and Southend.
Essex air police have joined with Kent, as it`s a short, quick hop from "us"..
Logistically, for me to visit Kent, or even places like Southminster, which I can also see, it`s a long drive though.
Kents county websites portray life in a much different way to Essex`s, why?
How different is life in East Sussex?
Diversity is a grand Idea, but we should perhaps be more diverse in our own backyards before inviting in not so near neighbours.
With comments like:- "Colchester Council and Tendring Council signalled support for a Local Enterprise Partnership involving Suffolk and Kent". making more sence than inviting all and sundry to join in the failing of local government, but even Tendring has lost its self with its stance on Bathside Bay expansion @ harwich. If ever there was one hope lost, it was this one. To join with Kent is not as mad as it may seem, for I can see kent from my home on a good "day", as I can also see the nightime light pollution being emitted from Colchester and Southend. Essex air police have joined with Kent, as it`s a short, quick hop from "us".. Logistically, for me to visit Kent, or even places like Southminster, which I can also see, it`s a long drive though. Kents county websites portray life in a much different way to Essex`s, why? How different is life in East Sussex? Diversity is a grand Idea, but we should perhaps be more diverse in our own backyards before inviting in not so near neighbours. Mr Anory. Jack

6:57am Fri 5 Nov 10

Mr Anory. Jack says...

For example:-
"If ever there was one hope lost, it was this one".
*
http://www.gazette-n
ews.co.uk/news/local
/harwich/8494248.Har
wich__Wind_centre_fu
nding_not_available_
for_town/

A mere £60 million lost!
reasons?
well, the leading members of IN-Tend,
have all been replaced!
can only wonder why!
And we pinned our hopes on the regeneration arm of TDC,
to come up with suitable plans for "west clacton`s" regeneration.
Funny thing is, thats lost it`s way too.
OK, lets join Sussex, see if they can help out, or maybe East Kilbride, or Bognor Regis, or the Isle of Skye, all sounds fantastic, but simply not achievable,
is it!
For example:- "If ever there was one hope lost, it was this one". * http://www.gazette-n ews.co.uk/news/local /harwich/8494248.Har wich__Wind_centre_fu nding_not_available_ for_town/ A mere £60 million lost! reasons? well, the leading members of IN-Tend, have all been replaced! can only wonder why! And we pinned our hopes on the regeneration arm of TDC, to come up with suitable plans for "west clacton`s" regeneration. Funny thing is, thats lost it`s way too. OK, lets join Sussex, see if they can help out, or maybe East Kilbride, or Bognor Regis, or the Isle of Skye, all sounds fantastic, but simply not achievable, is it! Mr Anory. Jack

4:40pm Fri 5 Nov 10

Feisty CBC says...

Had the Gazette not moved printers it would have folded.....
Had the Gazette not moved printers it would have folded..... Feisty CBC

5:34pm Fri 5 Nov 10

Anna Key says...

Feisty - If it hadn't been taken over by a big business like Newsquest it probably would have folded. But big businesses running newspapers has many drawbacks, the owners always have their own agenda, and the Gazette is clearly compromised as a Colchester paper representing Colchester interests. In a similar vein, most of the local shops have closed down to be replaced by big businesses in our High St. This might be the way of the world, but hardly a cause for celebration. And hardly a reason to make a total nonsense of geography.
Feisty - If it hadn't been taken over by a big business like Newsquest it probably would have folded. But big businesses running newspapers has many drawbacks, the owners always have their own agenda, and the Gazette is clearly compromised as a Colchester paper representing Colchester interests. In a similar vein, most of the local shops have closed down to be replaced by big businesses in our High St. This might be the way of the world, but hardly a cause for celebration. And hardly a reason to make a total nonsense of geography. Anna Key

9:55pm Fri 5 Nov 10

Feisty CBC says...

Eh?
Eh? Feisty CBC

9:05am Sat 6 Nov 10

Anna Key says...

Eh???
Eh??? Anna Key

1:14pm Tue 9 Nov 10

BillBill says...

eh???
eh??? BillBill

12:35pm Wed 10 Nov 10

jim_bo says...

The gazette's days are limited.

The paper is mostly being written in Basildon and the main paper is being watered down to include Tendring's news. I suspect the Clacton newspaper will be merged shortly.

This will of course reduce sales as its not relevant for local news and thus advertisers which keep it alive will fall out of love with it.

Having used the services of the paper last year myself I have first hand experience of the little use it offers advertisers for the costs involved.
The gazette's days are limited. The paper is mostly being written in Basildon and the main paper is being watered down to include Tendring's news. I suspect the Clacton newspaper will be merged shortly. This will of course reduce sales as its not relevant for local news and thus advertisers which keep it alive will fall out of love with it. Having used the services of the paper last year myself I have first hand experience of the little use it offers advertisers for the costs involved. jim_bo

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