Decision details

LEP Integration of functions into Upper Tier Local Authorities

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


New arrangements following the government arrangements on changes to LEP functions


To note that subject to meeting certain conditions, the Government is looking to integrate a number of existing LEP functions into UTLAs.


To note that to meet the conditions, and to maintain a focus on the Solent area, Isle of Wight Council (IWC) will need to work with Portsmouth City Council (PCC) and Southampton City Council (SCC) to take on these functions through the creation of a new joint UTLA Board.


To agree that subject to the 3 Solent UTLA area being recognised by the Government as an area for LEP integration, with appropriate due diligence, IWC should become a Member of Solent Partners, a company limited by guarantee, that is a successor body to the Solent LEP, to help drive economic growth in the sub-region.  This agreement to be conditional on PCC and SCC similarly agreeing to become Members of Solent Partners.


To agree that IWC should not appoint a Director to the Board of Solent Partners to ensure that there is no conflict of interest with the wider governance needed for the new LEP integration arrangements.  IWC, along with the other two UTLAs will seek appropriate requirements within the articles of Solent Partners to ensure representatives of all three ULTAs are entitled to observe board meetings.


To note the proposed draft governance structure attached as Appendix 1 that shows how IWC should work with partners to achieve our economic growth ambitions which will need to be outlined in an updated Solent 2050 Strategy.


To agree that subject of the agreement of all three partners, PCC are confirmed as the Accountable Body for Solent Partners. 


To agree that any existing LEP funding disaggregated to the three Solent UTLAs can be pooled (subject to agreement with PCC and SCC) for the benefit of economic growth of the Solent region.


To agree that IWC, as one of the three UTLAs, will work with partners to develop an agreement on how Solent Partners will deliver economic growth for the functional economic area.


That delegated authority be given to the Chief Executive, and the Director of Finance and s151 Officer, acting individually or collectively in consultation with the Leader to agree the final details of the transfer of LEP functions to the UTLAs including future governance arrangements.


To agree that IWC should seek to support the creation of a Solent Economic Partnership, inviting adjacent Districts and Boroughs, Hampshire County Council, and other key public sector stakeholders, to enable Local Authorities leaders and leaders within the business community to have a regular opportunity to discuss and support economic growth in the region.

Report author: Colin Rowland

Publication date: 12/02/2024

Date of decision: 08/02/2024

Decided at meeting: 08/02/2024 - Cabinet

Effective from: 20/02/2024

Accompanying Documents: