Wednesday, November 19, 2014

News: LEP searches for exec director

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The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are seeking an executive director to act as their senior officer as they prepare to accept more devolved powers from central government.

LEPs are the government's new model to promote economic development. With input from the private sector, they provide the strategic leadership required to set out local economic priorities, and better reflect the natural economic geography of the areas they serve.

Last year, the nine local authorities that comprise the SCR agreed to create a new legal body that would have responsibility for transport, economic development and regeneration.

The SCR Combined Authority brings together an integrated transport authority (ITA) and an economic prosperity board (EPB) in order to align political decision making around strategic economic development and transport. It does not take any powers from local authorities, and is intended to complement local authority decision making on these issues.

With stronger governance, the SCR Authority has a remit covering city region economic strategies, investment funds, the enterprise zone and inward investment activity. With this approach the public, businesses and agencies only have to deal with one decision making body rather than many.

The LEP and the SCR Combined Authority have assumed a joint role in developing and delivering the economic strategy for the SCR and a joint SCR Executive Team has been created.

Specialists in executive search recruitment, GatenbySanderson has now been hired to recruit to the newly-created executive director post, which comes with a salary of around £110,000.

The job advert states: "The successful applicant will drive forward the City Region's economic agenda. Responsible for exercising the statutory functions in relation to economic development, regeneration and transport across the City Region and ensuring that the objectives of the Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership are achieved.

"The Executive Director will be both accountable to the CA in respect of its statutory functions and to the LEP in respect of its associated role and activities.

"This is a high profile role so the successful candidate will need to evidence a track record of working at the highest levels with national and local government and be able to demonstrate effective leadership and communication skills, diplomacy, self-motivation as well as strategic thinking in a diverse environment."

The LEP is chaired by James Newman (pictured), the former Master Cutler and current chairman of Finance Yorkshire who worked to bring the bid for the partnership together with businesses and local authority representatives across the city region and was named as chair in 2010.

Newman accepted a request from the LEP board to remain as the chairman until September 2015 and is not expected to seek reappointment. The role of chair is being reviewed which will inform a full recruitment process, with a view to appointing a new LEP chair in summer 2015.


Ben Still is chief executive at the SCR, joining in 2012 having formerly been director of strategy at the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE).

Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: sheffieldcityregion.org.uk

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