The LEP’s Chair and Chief Executive make an annual statement on the status of the LEP’s governance and transparency
The Humber LEP has continued to uphold high standards of governance and transparency throughout 2020/21.
This year has been dominated by the impact of Covid-19 and the decision by government and local political leaders that the Humber will transition to a new LEP geography from 1 April 2021, addressing the long-standing overlap with Greater Lincolnshire LEP.
In light of this, following Lord Haskins’ retirement as Chair in May 2020 Stephen Parnaby OBE was elected by the Board as Interim Chair to lead the organisation through this period.
On Covid-19, our Board and sub-boards have been kept fully informed of the impact on the local economy and taken decisions to reprioritise resources. We quickly moved to online meetings to ensure proper governance could continue, and have continued to publish board papers and other information in the usual way. We developed a public Delivery Plan for the second phase of our response to support full transparency over how we were redirecting resources. We established the Humber Economic Resilience Group of business membership and support organisations and local authorities to share intelligence, co-ordinate the local response and inform our decisions – including scrutinising proposals before they were finalised. Our AGM was held online on 13 November, with over 260 views, and we published a comprehensive Annual Report.
The disruption caused by Covid-19 means that, unlike in previous years, there has not been an opportunity for us to participate in local authority scrutiny arrangements this year. However, we have participated in meetings of the Humber Leadership Board and we are aware that the accountable body has briefed its scrutiny on the new LEP arrangements.
On the transition to the new geography, we have engaged constructively and transparently with our partners on transition planning to minimise the impact on businesses and residents and seek to ensure that the Humber LEP’s legacy can be built on. A transition board has been established with Greater Lincolnshire LEP to co-ordinate arrangements, and officers have been actively involved in working through the details with their counterparts.
We have also contributed the previous work we did to develop the Humber Local Industrial Strategy to form the basis of the new Humber Estuary Plan, owned by the Humber Leadership Board.
The imminent change to our geography means it would be inappropriate to go out to recruit new Board members for such a short period of time; therefore we have continued with current membership and not tried to fill the two vacancies that have emerged this year. The focus of recruitment activity locally should be on appointing the best possible Board for the Hull & East Yorkshire LEP, in support of the incoming Chair and Deputy Chair who have now been recruited.
We have continued to engage with and convene partners across the region throughout this year in order to support the local economy through a very difficult period. We will continue this work in our final two months as the Humber LEP and ensure the handover to new LEP arrangements is as smooth as possible.
Signed Stephen Parnaby OBE, Chair of the Humber LEP and Kishor Tailor, Chief Executive of the Humber LEP