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OxLEP continues to ignore public views on growth

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 11:33

The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) has published its response to the recent consultation on its Strategic Economic Plan. However, OxLEP appears determined to press ahead with the forced economic growth strategy regardless.

OxLEP has now published its 'Report on Responses' to the public consultation on the 'refresh' of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) – the document responsible for driving much of the county’s economic growth strategy over the next 15 years. 

However, the OxLEP Report fails to address the concerns expressed by the majority of respondents to the consultation over the scale of planned growth for Oxfordshire.

Of the 250+ responses, the vast majority supported our concerns about the high growth targets and the lack of adequate environmental protection.

CPRE has three key areas of concern with the OxLEP Report:

- OxLEP lacks democratic mandate – even from business community
- The SEP Refresh will do nothing to solve the problem of affordable housing
- OxLEP implies there will be no environmental impact on Oxfordshire from the Strategic Economic Plan

These concerns were raised in a Press Release issued by Need not Greed Oxfordshire (NNGO). 

However, OxLEP appears determined to press ahead regardless, saying it is local councils that are responsible for setting the jobs targets, providing affordable houses and sorting out the environment. Of course they may be right, but in that case one wonders why OxLEP actually exists, especially given that it had just four business responses to its consultation.

Next Steps

During the summer, LEP will progress with developing the SEP further in the light of comments received ‘where it is possible to do so’!

On 25 July OxLEP is due to submit the second draft of the SEP Refresh to the SEP Steering Group for discussion and the final draft is to be agreed and ratified by the LEP Board in September, due for launch in October.

See: SEP Refresh Timetable.

A link to the Report on Responses can be found on the OxLEP website.

 

CPRE Oxfordshire, 29 June

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