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West of England Partnership

The West of England covers Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

The West of England is a prosperous area with an excellent quality of life and a growing national and international profile. However, rapid growth and the changing current economic situation means that the area faces increasing pressure on its infrastructure (such as roads, rail, green infrastructure, flood defences and services, e.g. electricity and telecommunications). In addition there are a number of neighbourhoods, which do not share in the prosperity of the area. We must adapt the way we live and plan to address the effects of climate change and to sustain economic growth. The West of England has formed partnerships in response to all these opportunities and challenges.

West of England Local Enterprise Partnership

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership Board brings together the Leaders of the four local authorities – South Gloucestershire Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council with key leaders from business and from one of our four world‐class universities. This influential mix of Board members provides strong strategic leadership, to prioritise and take actions and make a real difference to creating the right conditions for sustainable economic growth in the West of England.

The Local Enterprise Partnership encourages sustainable economic growth and the creation of substantial numbers of new private sector jobs by:

  • supporting the growth of key sectors
  • driving innovation and creativity and the development of new technologies, products and services
  • people – skilling our workforce to meet the needs of our businesses now and in the future. Retaining existing talent (and transferring skills across sectors in response to redundancies), raising aspirations and marketing talent to inward investors
  • business ‐ Assisting business start‐ups and growth
  • place – make the West of England highly attractive to inward investors and existing companies, by securing improved transport, environmental and broadband infrastructure that business needs; providing access to a range of employment land and premises; facilitating new housing and community structure. Maintain outstanding physical environment and high quality of life to retain and attract highly skilled workers and graduates.

The LEP Board is supported by a number of working groups which are working to deliver these priorities. A structure chart is available on the Local Enterprise Partnerships website. A copy of the LEP Business Plan can also be found on this website.

West of England Partnership

The four unitary authorities in the West of England – South Gloucestershire Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council work with a range of social, economic and environmental partners to co-ordinate high level planning to improve the quality of life of West of England residents and provide for a growing population.

The Partnership was formed to focus on things that are better planned at the West of England level, rather than at the level of the individual council areas. One example is major transport schemes, which have an impact on the West of England as a whole and which may cross the council boundaries.

The Partnership is made up of various boards and committees:

Joint Transport Executive Committee

The Joint Transport Executive Committee discharges the executive decisions of the four councils in the West of England in relation to transport issues that cover the West of England area.

The Joint Transport Executive Committee is governed by a constitution. This enables the Committee, in summary, to:

  • work with each of the authorities to determine the Local Transport Improvement Programme in their areas
  • ensure that any changes are reflected in the Joint Local Transport Plan
  • draft joint funding bids and manage funds received
  • monitor the implementation of the Local Transport Improvement Programme and report to the authorities
  • provide information required by the Department for Transport

Planning, Housing and Communities Board

The Planning, Housing and Communities Board advises and makes recommendations to the local authorities, working with the Joint Scrutiny Committee, Joint Transport Executive Committee and the LEP’s Infrastructure and Place Group.

Membership of the West of England Planning, Housing & Communities Board comprises the Executive Members with responsibility for planning and housing from each West of England unitary authority.

West of England Stakeholder Group

The Stakeholder Group considers matters arising from the Skills Group, the Infrastructure & Place Group (see LEP structure chart), and the joint council governed Joint Transport Executive Committee and Planning, Housing & Communities Board, and provides advisory support to the LEP Board representatives.

Joint Scrutiny Committee

The West of England Joint Scrutiny Committee scrutinises all of the activities of the West of England Partnership. Overview and scrutiny committees are tasked with developing new policy, holding the executive to account (by acting as a check and balance) and reviewing policy already in place.

Each council has established a scrutiny committee to undertake these functions in regard to the Partnership joint executive committee activities. The four scrutiny committees meet at the same time forming a scrutiny commission so that scrutiny also takes places in a joint manner.

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