I travelled up to the Local Government Association this morning to chair an inaugural meeting of elected Councillors responsible for regeneration and economic development. My colleague Andrew Larner, Regional Director for Improvement and Efficiency South East had suggested I form the group, and since I’d brought a similar group for Adult Social Care together a couple of years ago, I felt it would be worth trying.
Consequently, today saw the first meeting of REDSE – Regeneration and Economic Development in the South East. Members from county, unitary and district councils attended, along with officers from Kent and IESE, to discuss a range of issues, including Local Economic Assessments, Community Infrastructure Levy, Construction Apprenticeships and supporting our business community through the recession.
Like the social care group a couple of years ago, this will hopefully build slowly into a valuable forum in which to share the economic development issues confronting local authorities in these difficult times, allowing us to share ideas and best practice and present a more united voice for lobbying and influencing the Government of the day.
And that has to be worth attending.