Responding to the report from the National Audit Office following accusations made by the National Audit Office, Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner says:
“I welcome the report from the National Audit Office following accusations made by North East Cambridgeshire Conservative MP Stephen Barclay. The Local Enterprise Partnership were established by the coalition Government after the wanton destruction of the previous regional structures developed by the previous Labour Government.
They were poorly-resourced, and struggled to fulfil the tasks set for them. With assistance, particularly from local councils, they have improved their performance, and as Government has channelled more public money through them, it is right that stronger frameworks have been developed to ensure that money is spent properly. The National Audit Office report does identify shortcomings, but does not find evidence of wrong-doing.
This has been a bruising and damaging period for the Local Enterprise Partnership, but has also done harm to many important relationships between key players in Cambridgeshire at a time when everyone should have been concentrating on the bigger challenges. Many businesses and key institutions in particular, will wonder why they should participate in future – I hope that they can be persuaded that collaborative working between all sectors, with constructive support from elected representatives, is vital to ensure that future economic success and social progress in Cambridge and in Cambridgeshire is achieved.”