As a strong supporter of NMiTE and following Jesse Norman’s article in last week’s Hereford Times, I had a look at the website of Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which controls local investment in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford and Wrekin.

The website is beautifully designed and easily navigated but hard facts are difficult to establish.

Where does all the funding come from? What are the obligations of the organisation and to whom does it report?

The office and admin staff of nine people is in Shrewsbury, and out of the 10 non-statutory board members six are based in Shropshire, two in Herefordshire and two in Telford.

The funding and income for LEP in 2019 was over £17 million and only £6 million was spent, leaving 64 per cent unspent.

Yet the funding for NMITE has been delayed. Why? And why is the board not made up of an equal number of members from each area? Then Herefordshire’s projects might have better access to much needed funds. 

The LEP appears to control a large part of Herefordshire’s infrastructure expenditure. It needs to be more accountable.

Cary Goode

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