Reflections on 2014 that may help make 2015 a happy new year for local growth…

Many thanks to friends, colleagues and clients for all your support over 2014. I like to think my (3LE’s) work and commentary may have been helpful and influential. How influential has been down to your contributions and stimulation – direct, indirect, and ‘subliminal’.
Over 2014, ’3LE’ (my professional service) delivered twenty-five professional blogs, six personal blogs, six ‘policy briefings‘, commissions for over a dozen clients, and a similar number of identifiable  ‘pro-bono’ contributions (e.g. through conferences, round tables etc).
Let's make it a great one...for local growth
Let’s make it a great one…for local growth
It is hugely difficult to pick out highlights or trends. But, looking back over this body of work suggests (at least) six (relatively random) observations about 2014, that I think may carry us forward into the next parliament…. read more

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  • September 2014: Relieved at the result of the Scotland independence referendum - but it inspired two major pieces, prior to the vote and in the immediate aftermath of the result.
  • September 2014: Delighted with my good friends at URBED's success with the Wolfson Economics Prize with their work on Garden Cities. Motivated a celebratory piece on Garden Cities and government's lack of vision and strategic thinking on cities in response to the award.   
  • August 2014: Building up an interesting portfolio of work on how district councils can respond to the opportunities of the new economic landscape. From Harborough, and a couple of District Councils Network pieces in 2013, I have now undertaken work with South Kesteven, South Holland and latterly Breckland. Districts face unique challenges, but there is an emerging methodology on how to address them.
  • August 2014: Making real progress on the Corsham Institute - exploring the potential for big and fast data and the digital society as an economic and social driver of change. Will try and blog on this soon.
  • July 2014: This piece on the 39 local growth deal announcements and Local Growth Fund allocations proved very popular - but please also see colleagues' analysis at Urban Pivot, Regeneris, and SQW.
  • July 2014: New relationship with National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) designing the Smart Specialisation Advisory Hub (S3AH) announced by government in its response to Witty Review. Follow up to work I did with CURDS last year. Please get in touch if you want to be involved in the consultation.
  • June 2014: Time to review and refresh your areas' approach to inward investment? What recent publications tell us...
  • June 2014: Always good to work locally. Drafted an 'economic blueprint' for South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) to position the district to make the most of impending market, EU, national and LEP opportunities. Look forward to consulting on this with council and partners over the summer. Huge potential for ambitious districts to play a much greater role in growth and development.
  • May 2014: A lot of interest in this piece on the role of logistics in local growth
  • May 2014: A fascinating afternoon with HEFCE senior management team exploring the contributions and relationships of HE to LEPs and local growth. Have a look at my thoughts here.
  • May 2014: Delighted to be continuing my link with Ashridge and co-hosting a study visit of Swedish local authority CEOs and Directors. Always fascinating to compare UK and Swedish strcutres, processes and experience.
  • April 2014: A lot of work ongoing with LGA on the role of LAs in LEP leadership and governance; and on building the case for enhanced devolution of local growth funding. Have a look at the two presentations to round tables in Taunton and Newcastle.
  • March 2014: Attended LEP Network Annual Conference. See what I made of it in this blog - 'Apres le SEP, le deluge'.
  • March 2014: A real pleasure to be working for the Corsham Institute - developing and leveraging the potential of big, fast data and the digital economy for ecoomic growth and social progress. Read about our ambitions in the newly published Swindon and Wiltshire LEP strategic economic plan.
  • February 2014: See a new improved synthesis of work on city growth in my articles section. Or just enjoy a recent blog on three 2014 publications on city growth agendas, explored in greater detail in my latest LGIU policy briefing.
  • February 2014: A real pleasure to deliver a SURGE seminar on the challenges of the LEP-led local economic growth landscape at Coventry University. Get a copy of the slides here.
  • January 2014: Why hasn't Eric Pickles resigned following his disgraceful use of 'terror tactics'?
  • January 2014: My latest LGIU policy briefing explores 'where next for neighbourhood planning and management?' Huge potential implications.
  • January 2014: Extreme weather can't stop me getting to the far south west to help with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (C&IoS) growth deal!
  • Happy New Year 2014:...or how futures thinking can help us deliver a successful 2014!






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