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Good Governance


How we worked


Strategic leadership

Our business-led Strategic Board set the strategic direction of the LEP, providing clear strategic leadership and championing shared SELEP priorities. It was the main SELEP interface with Government, bringing together both private and public sectors to drive local growth and job creation and to oversee all SELEP activity to deliver this aim.

The Strategic Board had key representatives of both the SME business community and larger businesses operating in the area. It was chaired by Sarah Dance.

Find out how our Strategic Board works

Major funding decisions: SELEP Accountability Board

Formal democratic decision-making was through the SELEP Accountability Board, which approved all major funding decisions and monitored and managed SELEP’s capital programme for greatest impact, informed by local area management information.

The Accountability Board took responsibility for ensuring that investment decisions were made in a transparent and public forum with full due process. In addition to investment decisions, the Accountability Board also took oversight of delivery of the programme, providing both challenge and support to federal areas and project sponsors.

Find out more about the Accountability Board here

Legal accountability

The Accountable Body retained overall legal accountability for the SELEP investment programme, supported by Essex’s Chief Finance Officer, the S151 officer.

The term S151 Officer has been used as a short hand expression to refer to the role and duties of the ‘Responsible Financial Officer‘ as defined by CIPFA (ie the function of the most senior finance officer employed by an organisation).

Source: CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy) – The Role of the Chief Financial Officer in Local Government (Click here to view)

Working locally: Federated Boards

SELEP operated a federated model of local LEP Boards by geographical area, which allowed for decision-making and project prioritisation at a local level. A large number of businesses were directly engaged through the SELEP federal approach, with these businesses forming the majority of the local level boards.

As well as providing essential engagement, the federal board structure also delivered additional assurance to the Board and to Government. Schemes were developed and prioritised at the local level before they were submitted for scrutiny and prioritisation to the Accountability Board. Local businesses were able to bring their knowledge and expertise to the fore in assisting local authorities in determining the right investments for the area. Business membership organisations such as the Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Businesses were represented at this level and significantly enhanced the inclusivity of the conversations.

Find out more about the Federated Boards here