The East of England LGA aims to be an influential advocate for member councils in the East by promoting their leadership of their localities and also supporting them to make a strong argument for the resources, powers and freedoms necessary to achieve their aims.
The work that the Association has been doing to facilitate engagement with London and the Wider South East (WSE) on issues of strategic importance is a key element of this area of work.
The East of England Roundtables, which took place on 10 July and 4 September 2015, provided the opportunity to progress political discussion about future co-operation/co-ordination on strategic growth and infrastructure issues in the Wider South East. Officers from across the WSE have supported members throughout the roundtable process to agree both a mechanism for political engagement/collaboration and to identify priority issues, including joint technical work.
Following the Second Joint WSE Summit on 11 December 2015 a small WSE political steering group has been set up. The all-tier executive political steering group has geographical and cross party political representation from across the WSE, with members nominated by the East of England LGA, South East England Councils, London Councils and the Mayor of London. See membership here. Its purpose is to progress the priority issues identified by the wider membership at the summit, and includes:
- Preparation and timing of the full review of the London Plan
Achieving a common understanding of the data/evidence base
Addressing barriers to housing delivery
Making the case for strategic infrastructure investment
The next meeting of the WSE Political Steering Group will take place on 18 July 2016.
More information, including the agendas and notes of the WSE Summits and Political Steering Group meetings can be found here
An East of England Growth and Infrastructure Group has also been established and is made up of the elected members from the East of England that sit on the WSE Political Steering Group, plus their substitutes and the two East of England lead chief executives, John Wood (Hertfordshire County Council) and Russell Williams (Ipswich Borough Council).
The purpose of the Infrastructure and Growth Group is to:
- discuss strategic issues pertinent to the East of England relevant to the WSE collaborative effort;
- provide leadership and direction to the East of England element of the WSE collaboration work programme;
- oversee the activities of the East of England SSPOLG, and
- act as a conduit between the WSE political steering group and the wider membership of the East of England LGA.
The next meeting of the Infrastructure and Growth Group will take place on 28 June 2016.
A copy of the governance structure as it relates to WSE collaboration can be viewed here
In 2016, the East of England LGA will continue to facilitate both officer and political level engagement across the Wider South East with the aim of ensuring that all member councils in the East of England are represented and able to influence the work programme of the WSE Political Steering Group on issues of strategic significance for both local areas and the region as a whole.
For further information please contact Çinar Altun, Policy and Secretariat Manager
East of England Local Government Association (Cinar.Altun@eelga.gov.uk)