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New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership

Volume 578: debated on Tuesday 25 March 2014

1. What discussions he has had with the New Anglia local enterprise partnership on devolving powers and responsibilities to that partnership. (903233)

In the last 10 weeks, I have travelled across England to meet with all 39 local enterprise partnerships. As part of those visits, I had a very productive discussion with the New Anglia local enterprise partnership in Ipswich on 25 February, where we discussed its strategic economic plan.

I welcome the positive discussions that my right hon. Friend the Minister had with the New Anglia LEP. May I urge him to make sure that we get the full responsibilities and powers that the New Anglia LEP board is seeking in order to accelerate the economy in East Anglia? Will he also pay tribute to Andy Wood, who is giving up as chairman of the LEP this coming Monday?

I will certainly pay tribute to Andy Wood. He is the chief executive of Adnams, one of the biggest and most prestigious businesses in East Anglia, and he has done a fantastic job, not only in negotiating two city deals but in laying the foundations for what is—having discussed it with him—a very ambitious local growth deal that will build on the success that the economy is experiencing in East Anglia and create many more jobs and apprenticeships.