The Cumbria LEP (CLEP) takes scrutiny very seriously and during 2018 fully reviewed its scrutiny arrangements to ensure that all of its activities and investments were open, transparent and subject to scrutiny.
In discharging scrutiny, CLEP has discharged its commitment to three separate audiences – government, local government and wider stakeholders including the public. Its approach to each of these audiences is outlined below.
CLEP has revised all of its governance and accountability arrangements to be fully compliant with the National Local Assurance Framework issued by government in January 2019. CLEP’s revised Local Assurance Framework was approved by its Board on 29 March 2019, and was made immediately available on the website. This built upon the significant development work completed during 2018/19.
The Local Assurance Framework is a constantly evolving document and will continue to be updated in line with government guidance, best practice and changes to policies, systems or procedures.
CLEP operated to a Local Scrutiny Committee consisting of three Local Authority members (District Council members, who represent alternate Local Authorities to those sitting on the Board), and three private sector members.
The revised governance structure, agreed in September 2018 resulted in the formation of a new Local Enterprise Partnership Scrutiny Board, which was agreed at the Accountable Body’s annual meeting on 11 April 2019. This new Board was established with 14 voting County Council members and 6 voting co-opted members from the District Councils. This Committee’s sole remit is CLEP Scrutiny and it will meet twice per year, with the Accountable Body servicing the Committee. The 2019/20 meetings have been scheduled for 12 September 2019 and 3 March 2020.
In advance of the existing Scrutiny Committee being formally stood down, under the new arrangements, a valedictory meeting took place with private sector members of the Committee in November 2018 to review CLEP’s implementation of their Scrutiny Report, and to confirm that all issues that had been identified, had been considered by the Chair and Chief Executive and a response had been provided to these.
In the interim whilst this new scrutiny board was being established CLEP attended the Accountable Body’s Scrutiny Management Board with co-opted members from the six District Authorities to undertake a review of CLEP’s governance, deliver and strategy. This meeting took place on 12 March 2019.
In addition, CLEP has committed to attend any Local Authority Scrutiny Committees on request and during the 2018/19 financial year attended the following:
Allerdale Borough Council
Focus – skills landscape in Cumbria and impact
Outcome – invited CLEP to provide further input on skills work and overview of skills funding
Focus – LEP Skills Work and overview of skills funding
Outcome – developed elected members understanding of Mainstream and ESF funding for skills and how this is distributed across Allerdale.
Cumbria County Council
Strategic Child Poverty Group
Focus – delivery of skills to young people in poverty
Outcome – understanding of impact of skills delivery to disadvantaged areas and groups across the county and the challenges faced by the skills sector in doing this
Focus – Careers Hub Model and proposed impact
Outcome – support for Careers Hub concept and development of a coherent approach to Careers Education
Focus – Careers Strategy and overview of Apprenticeships
Outcomes – developed understanding of Careers Education challenges, Apprenticeship policy changes and impact on Cumbrian employers/young people
Review of Apprenticeships
Focus – a joint piece of work with CCC’s Senior Manager for Learning and Skills on Apprenticeships across the County and the County Council’s Apprenticeship programme
Outcome – Developed an understanding of the contribution of Apprenticeships to the countywide skills agenda and the policy changes that have produced current levels of performance. An understanding of the County Council’s performance against key Apprenticeship metrics.
Carlisle City Council
CLEP attended the Economic Growth Scrutiny Panel on 28 February
Focus – An overview of CLEP’s activities on the growth agenda, the progress made in developing the Local Industrial Strategy and CLEP’s performance against the Annual Performance themes of governance, strategy and delivery.
Outcome – Understanding of CLEP’s economic growth activities; the inclusive process used to develop the Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), key issues and priorities that the LIS would address, and next steps in its development; CLEP’s performance on governance, delivery and strategy.
The revised governance arrangements were designed to engage a significant number of businesses and public and voluntary and community sector organisations in developing and implementing CLEP’s strategies and work programmes, and in the process scrutinise these, thereby providing a comprehensive review.
Additionally, CLEP hosted a public open Annual General Meeting on 28 September 2018 to account for its activities and to outline its priorities for 2019. This provided all stakeholders with the opportunity to attend and question CLEP on its business. An Annual Report 2018 document was produced and circulated to accompany the Annual General Meeting.
CLEP’s 2019 Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 27 September.
Further details on CLEP’s commitment to, and engage with scrutiny arrangements are available from Jo Lappin, Chief Executive [email protected]