This conclusion appears to have been forgotten, so much so, that our local authorities are already simply agencies of Government from London as will any LEPs that are eventually set up. No LEP will have any resources of its own.

Neither will they have the technical and professional support from the local authorities that they had in the past. All LEPs will be dependent on decisions taken in London by Lord Heseltine, the Deputy Prime Minister, and civil servants.

We have to ask what made the difference in certain LEP bids being given the green light and others which were not.

None of the LEP bids were inspiring and none of them grasped the need for a new more localised economic model.

What is particularly disturbing has been the absence of any real attempt by the local authorities to involve and seek public views on the way forward.

After many years of support for regional working it appears to have been abandoned without any real debate.

George Morran, Vice Chairman Localise West Midlands, Secretary Campaign for the English Regions