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  1. 1. Somerset Economic Assessment Paul Hickson Group Manager, Economy 9 July 2010
  2. 2. <ul><li>Somerset context </li></ul><ul><li>Somerset’s approach to Local Economic Assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder engagement, including District Council partners </li></ul><ul><li>Policy theme approach </li></ul><ul><li>Looking to the future </li></ul>What follows
  3. 4. Example 2 text slide Indicative Artists Impression of Hinkley Point C, courtesy of EDF Energy
  4. 5. Somerset context <ul><li>large area (1,200+ square miles, 520,000 residents, 25,000+ businesses) </li></ul><ul><li>diverse and decentralised economic geography </li></ul><ul><li>complexity of economic linkages and interdependencies with centres beyond our boundary (Bristol, Bath, Exeter, South Coast) </li></ul><ul><li>Somerset defined more strongly by its culture, heritage and sense of place than as a distinct/uniform economic entity </li></ul><ul><li>two tier local government structure </li></ul><ul><li>contended leadership of Somerset economic agenda in the past? </li></ul>
  5. 6. Comprehensive Area Assessment
  6. 7. The Somerset approach to Local Economic Assessments
  7. 8. The Somerset approach to Local Economic Assessments <ul><li>Produce a robust and widely owned initial LEA (the perfect being the enemy of the good) </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret the statutory duty as an ongoing process not simply a fixed product </li></ul><ul><li>Rebuild economic policy and intelligence capacity in SCC via the LEA, as an element of economic leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Position the LEA as the core document driving other policy frameworks – FTP, LIP (in line with member prioritisation of the economy) </li></ul>
  8. 9. Stakeholder engagement <ul><li>District Council partners </li></ul><ul><li>senior leadership figures in SCC (members, senior managers) </li></ul><ul><li>private sector partners </li></ul>We see the usefulness and success of the LEA as being largely dependent on the extent to which key stakeholders “own” the exercise. These include: Needs to be beyond the tokenistic steps in the participation ladder – elements of co-ownership and co-creation regular, open communication
  9. 10. <ul><li>regular, open communication </li></ul><ul><li>engagement of key stakeholders in shaping key stages of LEA preparation (workshops about key questions, joint engagement sessions to interpret data) </li></ul><ul><li>visibly placing business community and District partners to the fore in parts of the process (sponsors for individual project strands, presenting at key meetings) </li></ul><ul><li>securing “top table” airtime for the LEA (Local Strategic Partnerships, Chief Executives and Leaders meetings) </li></ul><ul><li>demonstrating to District partners that their previous work will be integrated into LEA (using “their” consultants!) </li></ul>Stakeholder engagement
  10. 11. Policy theme approach <ul><li>Rationale </li></ul><ul><li>keen to make Somerset LEA distinctive to the county </li></ul><ul><li>tool for engagement of stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>mechanism to embrace “big” issues (eg Hinkley new nuclear build) </li></ul><ul><li>focuses discussions around issues rather than the “black hole” to Somerset of economic geography </li></ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul><ul><li>we have identified for policy themes from our emerging evidence base </li></ul><ul><li>these are worklessness, low carbon economy, future competitiveness, rural futures </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Process (cont…) </li></ul><ul><li>have commissioned projects to explore each theme (“mini” policy commissions) </li></ul><ul><li>each project will produce a topic paper providing further detailed evidence and policy conclusions to inform the draft LEA </li></ul><ul><li>these projects align to the key headings from the DCLG guidance which we’ve reflected in the planned structure for our LEA </li></ul><ul><li>work is led by different experts with a senior level project sponsor and combines policy analysis with stakeholder engagement </li></ul>
  12. 13. Looking to the future <ul><li>need to develop member ownership of LEAs </li></ul><ul><li>need to shape new LEAs to influence delivery priorities post LAAs </li></ul><ul><li>a plea that thinking nationally and locally about LEPs emphasises the need for LEAs (or something similar) as a foundation </li></ul>