Local Economic Assessments: resource guide for the West Midlands

It became compulsory for Strategic Local Authorities to produce Local Economic Assessments (LEAs) on 1st April 2010. LEAs are intended to bring together economic intelligence to inform a range of local and regional strategies.

One of these is the new Regional Integrated Strategy for the West Midlands.

The West Midlands Joint Strategy and Investment Board steering the regional strategy has agreed with Chief Executives that LEA input will be on a sub-regional basis.

The LEA summaries will be structured around a series of questions relating to regional issues set out in a sub-regional framework document (doc, 578kb) drafted by Advantage West Midlands and the West Midlands Leaders Board.

Each sub-region will produce a ‘first cut’ of intelligence on the sub-regional economy by 2nd July 2010, with a full sub-regional summary of their LEA intelligence by the end of December 2010. The sub-regions are:

  • Birmingham
  • Black Country (comprising Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton)
  • Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull
  • Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford and Wrekin
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Worcestershire

To help Local Authorities prepare their LEAs, the West Midlands Regional Observatory has compiled an LEA resource guide (doc, 695kb) structured around the questions in the framework. This is a collection of data sources, analysis, guidance documents and examples of research being carried out elsewhere.

The resource guide is a live document which will be updated regularly and will benefit from your contributions of local examples of data collection or analysis, so you are strongly encouraged to submit additional sources.

Sherman Wong of the West Midlands Leaders Board and Dave Hill, Chair of the LEA Steering Group and Regional Economic Development Officers Group, note that LEA sub-regional summaries are not seen as a single opportunity to input economic intelligence but as part of an on-going structured dialogue.  It’s intended that the ‘visioning’ for the Regional Strategy will include sub-regional engagement late summer/autumn.

It is anticipated that the first cut LEA intelligence would form an important part of the sub-regional engagement and in informing the project plan for the Strategy. The more complete picture provided by the December input will then be fed into the development of strategy options for consultation.

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