Agenda item

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership - Assurance Framework


MrCavill, Ms Connor and Mr Holmes rejoined the meeting at this point.


Ms B Joyce, Head of Strategic Development, Lancashire County Council presented a report and gave a presentation regarding a proposed Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Assurance Framework.


Ms Joyce explained that Government has asked each LEP to prepare an Assurance Framework in order to establish "processes, protocols and policies" of the LEP in one document.  As accountable body, Lancashire County Council (LCC), needs to confirm to Government in April 2015 that an Assurance Framework has been prepared in line with guidance.


It was reported that the Assurance Framework had been  considered by the LCC Scrutiny Committee on 13th March 2015 and  their comments  were tabled for Board members to consider.


The next stage in the process was for the LEP to consider and endorse the Assurance Framework which would  then be presented to the Lancashire Chief Executives Group on 30th March 2015, and then  to the LCC Cabinet on 2nd April 2015 for formal approval. Confirmation would then be sent to Government that the LEP has prepared an Assurance Framework in line with the guidance.


Board Members acknowledged the comments of the LCC Scrutiny Committee,  in particular that the development of Section 2 of the Framework on "Local Authority Partnership working" will be key to setting out the LEP engages with locally elected representatives and how they can be involved in supporting and developing accountability.


In addition, Board Members sought clarification regarding the conflict resolution section of the Assurance Framework and the powers of the independent person(s).


The Company Secretary, Mr I Young, clarified that the conflict resolution policy would be used as a last resort in the unlikely event that the accountable body and the LEP were unable to resolve any dispute over a recommendation or decision taken by the LEP.  In those circumstances it was proposed that the LEP and Accountable Body would agree to the appointment of an independent person(s), the purpose being to seek to facilitate agreement. It was not intended however that the LEP or Accountable Body would be bound by a decision or recommendation of the independent person. The Board were advised that if it was not possible to resolve a particular issue by agreement then rather than resort to expensive and protected arbitration or mediation provisions it would be preferable to have differences determined by the courts, particularly as disputes may involve vires issues.


The Chair informed the Board of an error in Skills Board Terms of Reference, page 93, Section 6 – Chair and Deputy Chair.  The wording of this section stated that the Skills Board shall appoint one of its number to act as Chair ("the Chair"), and that the Chair of the Skills Board will be a private sector representative and be a member of the LEP Board.


The Board was reminded that it had appointed Amanda Melton as the new Chair following the resignation of Owen McLaughlin as a LEP Director at the previous LEP Board meeting and that the wording of this section should simply say that "The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Board shall appoint the Chair".  The Board approved this amendment to the Assurance Framework document.


Resolved: That the Board:


(i)  Approved the establishment of a Performance Committee, as outlined in Section 2.3 of the report;


(ii)  Requested that detailed terms of reference for the Performance Committee be brought to the 21st April 2015 meeting of the LEP Board;


(iii)  Approved the LEP Board Director Protocol relating to Gifts and Hospitality, as set out in Appendix 'A' Annex 6;


(iv)  Approved the LEP Complaints Policy, as set out in set out in Appendix 'A'  Annex 7;


(v)  Noted the stakeholder arrangements for engagement with Lancashire local authorities on the draft Assurance Framework;


(vi)  Approved the draft Assurance Framework, attached at Appendix 'A' and delegated authority to the LEP Chair, Interim Chair of the Shadow Growth Deal Programme Board and Director of Economic Development and County Solicitor to finalise the document;


(vii)  Noted and approved the revised Terms of Reference of the Lancashire Skills Board, as set out Appendix 'A', Annex 1;


(viii)  Approved the submission of the draft Assurance Framework to the Cabinet meeting of Lancashire County Council, as accountable body for the LEP, on 2nd April 2015;


(ix)  Approved the approach to Growth Deal evaluation, as set out in Section 4 of the report, and requested that a detailed presentation be made to the LEP Board at a future meeting; and


(x)  Noted that, subject to approval by the Cabinet of the County Council, the Assurance Framework, Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and Implementation Plan will be submitted to Government in April 2015.

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