Today, the Government announced the first 24 Local Enterprise Partnerships between local businesses and civic leaders, designed to drive growth and create jobs.
I am pleased that after much lobbying From Coast To Capital, a partnership based around the 'Gatwick Diamond' including Croydon, the Surrey districts of Tandridge, Reigate & Banstead and Mole Valley and West Sussex, was one of those approved. This decision recognises that Croydon isn't just a suburb of London but an economic hub in its own right with connections to the wider South East.
In addition, the Government unveiled plans for councils to keep the business rates they collect locally, which will give them a financial incentive to grow their economy and attract business to the area.
They also declared the £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund open for business. This fund will particularly support places like Croydon that are currently over-dependent on the public sector.
Three very welcome announcements.