“Efforts and courage are not enough”
John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated fifty years ago last month, said “efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
The LEP’s Growth Plan will, I hope, give some purpose and clearer direction to the efforts and courage of both private and public sector leaders, who are united in their determination to transform the local economy over the next decade.
The Growth Plan is the blueprint for an opportunity of a generation. Top Government Ministers are asking us to take on powers and be responsible for more funding from Whitehall because we best understand how to stimulate economic growth in our City Region. The Government’s top brass realise that devolution means a better balanced and faster growing UK Plc. They recognise that leaders and local business people in the City Region have the greatest stake in its economic success and are best placed to make key decisions about its future.
The Growth Plan presents the Sheffield City Region with huge opportunity to do a deal with Government, which will enable us to be the ‘masters of our own fate’. Our bold plan will ask Government to hand us the funding and the powers we need to achieve our full potential.
Our plan will be governed by common sense, commercial nous and be free from political constraints. It will not be restricted by what the Government or the EU is ‘offering up’. However, we know full-well that Whitehall departments won’t let go of powers or money easily.
Private sector growth is at the centre of our plan but the private sector can’t achieve all that is needed on its own. What our economy needs is radical structural change. This kind of change can only be achieved through co-ordinated working between the public, private and third sectors.
As a City Region, collaboration is our trump card. The networks, the relationships and our strong history of partnership working are the envy of other LEPs and will be a competitive advantage as we close the gap on rival LEP areas. Collaboration has been a driving principle of our LEP and will be the key to transforming our local economy.
JFK also once said that “the best road to progress is freedom’s road.” I sincerely hope that in 2014 the Government gives the Sheffield City Region the freedoms we need to progress with our Growth Plan.
The LEP will submit the draft Sheffield City Region Growth Plan to Government at the end of the year. For more information visit www.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk /growth