Some recent news from England, where the Government has announced that 56 proposals for Local Enterprise Partnerships have been received. Although they are not similar in scale to the previous regional structures, there is evidence that they have some functional basis.
Among the proposals are Liverpool City Region, Kent and Medway, 'Enterprise M3' (covering parts of Hampshire and Surrey), 'Gatwick Diamond' and Sheffield City Region. All this came about because of a letter Vince Cable and Eric Pickles sent to Local Authority and Business Leaders in June 2010.
Interesting snippets from the letter include 'separate arrangements will apply in London' and 'the Coalition Government is determined to rebalance the economy towards the private sector' and - interestingly - 'we wish to enable partnerships to better reflect the natural economic geography of the areas they serve and hence to cover real functional economic and travel to work areas'.
Given this last statement, the list of the proposals submitted begins to look more interesting...