Local MP calls for focus on job creation
16th November 2010
James Morris last week pressed the Department for Business to sign off the Black Country LEP, to allow businesses and local councils to focus on creating private sector jobs.
Speaking in the House of Commons, James “urged the Minister to sign off the Black Country LEP if possible” and called for the need to “focus with laser precision on the generation of private sector jobs in the Black Country”.
Deep underlying economic problems have existed in the West Midlands since 1997, such as higher unemployment than other areas and lower growth than the UK average. Innovation and productivity rates have also been low.
To replace the widely criticised RDA, seven LEP proposals in the West Midlands were put to the Government. Of these just four were initially accepted, including a giant LEP for the area of Birmingham and Solihull with East Staffordshire, Lichfield & Tamworth. Discussions are still ongoing about the remaining three proposals, including the Black Country LEP.
The Black Country has its own industrial and enterprise heritage and a long history of industrial innovation. The four Black Country councils – Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall - have worked together effectively in the past and recently announced plans to share some council services. Along with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce they would be well placed to protect the area’s long history of innovation.
James Morris commented: “We need the Black Country LEP signed off so that it can begin to promote manufacturing, champion enterprise and develop the skill base in the Black Country economy. This will help contribute to private sector job growth which is critical to the future of the economy”.