Inclusive growth key theme for Combined Authority meeting

LepandCatherdralSchool89e Feb16CarolynMendelsohn2015Inclusive growth, which benefits everyone across West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region, was an underlying theme the West Yorkshire Combined Authority meeting today (Thursday 14 December).

Authority members agreed to update the organisation’s procurement processes, develop a new Local Inclusive Industrial Strategy.

Through the planned update of its Procurement Strategy, which sets out and efficient and effective objectives for purchasing materials, services and supplies, the Combined Authority is aiming to put a greater emphasis on social value measures such as encouraging apprentices. Spending with local suppliers will continue to be a priority and the Strategy will be used to help promote equality and fairness, ensure environmental sustainability and build the capacity and sustainability of the voluntary and community sector.

In line with the Local Government Association’s emerging National Procurement Strategy, the Combined Authority’s process would provide consistent performance data against which it will measure success.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “It is important that as key advocates of inclusive growth in West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region, we put our money where our mouth is and ensure our own procurement is encouraging this approach which helps benefit all.

“West Yorkshire Combined Authority spends a significant sum on strategic schemes and initiatives designed to generate growth by developing better transport links, supporting skills training and apprenticeships and providing support for local businesses. By ensuring that inclusive growth is an inherent part of our procurement, we can ensure that spending has a double-benefit for local people and businesses.

“We have a number of initiatives underway or ready to launch including programmes focusing on in-work poverty and providing the early years education that is shown order to improve long-term life opportunities.

“Over the next six months, we also plan to establish key indicators and objectives for identifying successful inclusive growth and securing funding sources for the high-impact programme we are developing.”

Today’s Combined Authority meeting also approved the development of a new Inclusive Industrial Strategy as a successor to its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). The new Strategy will include the need to make the most of technological advances and will be written around a framework of five ‘drivers’ – Business, People, Ideas, Infrastructure and Place. It will also address the challenges of Brexit and create a plan for driving growth, boosting productivity and earning-power for a post 2030 economy.

Initially the Strategy will be based upon the Combined Authority’s input to the government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper and its Autumn Budget Submission, which included proposals for a £100m to support a Leeds City Region Housing Deal, £50m over five years to secure the Leeds City Region’s world-leading med-tech position and £40m for a Local Energy Fund. Among the longer term ambitions are private-sector-led work to raise productivity, the Northern Powerhouse Rail route with stops in Bradford and York, and childcare proposals to unlock a more inclusive labour market.

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chair Roger Marsh OBE said: “Our Strategic Economic Plan has been vital in providing the framework for us to get the right structure in place and accelerate delivery of schemes, which has been acknowledged by the government and which secured a further £42m tranche of our allocated 2017/2018 funding.

“By developing the new Inclusive Industrial Strategy, we can ensure that we are continuing to ensure inclusive growth is an intrinsic part of our work as well as continuing to meet Key Performance Indicators and building on the nationally-acknowledged transparency and governance procedures we have in place.”

Achievements to date include projects to engage large organisations as cornerstones of best practice, developing poverty standards and supporting low paid workers, and a major City Region conference around the RSA’s Inclusive Growth held in Bradford, which attracted local and national media attention. There are proposals for the Combined Authority to establish an Inclusive Growth committee and inclusive growth objectives are being incorporated into the new ‘Local Inclusive Industrial Strategy’.

Link to the Combined Authority meeting agenda.

14 Dec 2017

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