Monday, September 14, 2015

News: Rotherham Business Growth Board

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The private sector is being encouraged to get involved with the fresh start at Rotherham Council as part of the new strategic partnership focusing on the local economy.

After a number of reports highlighted serious failings across the authority, an intervention package was announced by the Government and saw commissioners appointed who will provide new leadership and take on all executive functions of the authority.

An unprecedented step, the five commissioners have been appointed for a period of up to four years and could be in charge of the Council until March 2019.

As part of their remit, the commissioners are addressing the weak partnerships and Community Strategy that was discussed in the inspections. The Local Strategic Partnership has been reviewed and the new arrangements were agreed by all partners. "A renewed model of more inclusive and purposeful joint working with partners," it is set to be signed off this week.

The "Rotherham Together Partnership" is set to launch later this month and a key part of it will be the Rotherham Business Growth Board that will ensure the Rotherham Economic Growth Plan is delivered and meets business needs.

The borough's Growth Plan, also set to be signed off this month, is the economic plan to help deliver 10,000 new private sector jobs in Rotherham over the next ten years.

In the first six months, the commissioners have found that "The Council needs to do more to get a grip of its priorities and look critically how it can stimulate local economic growth, leading to more jobs, more homes, and more income opportunities for the council."

Replacing the Economy Board, and set to be chaired by somebody from the private sector, the team will lead the strategic direction of Rotherham's economy, working closely with the business community, Rotherham Council, the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The board will become a driver for growth, innovation, skills and enterprise in the Rotherham. It will provide direction and drive forward actions to support enterprise, increase business opportunities, secure investment, create additional jobs and improve the town centre.

Commissioner Julie Kenny at Rotherham Council (pictured, second left) said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for Rotherham businesses to shape the future of our town. I look forward to inspirational representatives of industry and enterprise coming together to make a real difference, help our economy to grow and ensure local people are able to benefit from and contribute to that growth."

This new way of working is designed to make the most effective use of partners' time, resources, knowledge and expertise. The board will meet for the first time in early October 2015.

Recruitment is now under way for a Chair, Vice Chair and business representatives to sit on the board. Interested individuals are asked to submit a one page expression of interest covering their experience and what they can bring to the board. Expressions of interest should be emailed to info@rido.org.uk by Friday September 25 2015.

Rotherham Council website

Images: RMBC

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