"Heart of the South West” Local Enterprise Partnership’s “Devolution” Prospectus
16 February 2016
This is from Councillor Vint (Totnes Rural):
Dear Devon Greens,
A few weeks ago most of us - and most Councillors - knew nothing about the "Heart of the South West” Local Enterprise Partnership’s “Devolution” Prospectus for the future economic development of Devon and Somerset. The more I read about the plans the more concerned I get - not only about their content but also that the plans might be finalised before most of us have even heard about them. Forget RegenSW’s plans to power the region using renewable energy - this plan is founded upon an assumption that Hinkley C lies at the heart of local economic regeneration - together with major roadbuilding projects, the aerospace industry and commercial housing schemes for 179,000 houses. Big business takes clear priority over local need. The full proposal (also attached) is here:
We have started to fight back:
1. Yesterday the three Green Councillors on South Hams District Council, together with the other three members of our Opposition Group, put up a strong but unsuccessful fight to prevent the Council from backing these proposals. My statement during this debate is copied below.
2. Last night I met with our MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, and discussed how to respond. She has asked questions about LEPs in the European Parliament but we think that local groups and the AGC need to lead on this. As these “Devolution” proposals are in the pipeline across the UK we need to find someone to produce a concise briefing document to help all our councillors to respond to this.
3. This morning I will be speaking at Devon County Council’s Cabinet meeting about my concerns. I have submitted three Written Questions, copied below, and can ask supplementary questions at the meeting.
I think we need to discuss this as a regional group - and to invite any equivalent group in Somerset to discuss this with us too. Decisions on this will be made in the next two months or so. What do you suggest we do to tackle this?