Scrutiny News: Job creation and regeneration

21st October, 2011

Ross Willmott

For the last 10 years the city council and other agencies have invested significantly in inward investment and regeneration. This has helped to create thousands of jobs in the city and county. In a report for the Overview Select Committee on the 27th October we learn that this investment is now at an all time low. Having gone from £1.5m pa to £168k. We are currently investing 6 times as much in the external agency responsible for tourism as we are in the agency responsible for job creation, which is an interesting contrast. There is no doubt that we should be investing in tourism. But why aren’t we at least investing in inward investment and job creation to the same extent?

The closure by the City Council of Prospect Leicestershire,  the agency set up to spearhead regeneration and inward investment is a huge step backwards. it was closed without any scrutiny. We learnt that it was not even necessary as the funding to keep the key operations is still in place. The County Council agreed to maintain its contribution of £175k if the city did likewise. This money still sits in the Council’s budgets. The costs of running Prospect had been reduced including staff costs. So it could have continued in its important work ensuring Leicester and Leicestershire continued to attract businesses and jobs.

The report is objective and based on evidence taken from many other documents and individuals. Its conclusions and recommendations are based on the facts that are fully available in the report.

The report recognised that without the big grants from government for big projects we don’t need the staff and funding to deliver them, and it is now too late to revisit the decisions about Prospect. However we should learn from the work of these successful initiatives and recognise that we still need to plan and keep our profile high. Not do so means we could lose out to other cities. Now is the time for keeping up the momentum and working even harder so that we don’t lose out. The report recommends that the £350,000 that was previously allocated for this work is now re-invested to give job creation a much needed boost. See here for discussion on Radio Leicester this morning about 1hr 8mins in.

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  1. Riko

    24th March, 2015

    Excellent review of a wodrenful book,one that’s still in my thoughts, months after I’ve finished reading I hope her sequel’s not too far in the future. As to the title,I think the author sees Henry’s court as a pack of wolves, sort of a ‘dog eat dog’ existance. Wolves living in halls And how!

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