It seems Mark Hawthorne had his spies in the Labour Party conference, or more specifically some fringe events. The Fringe events are where many issues are discussed about what future policy could look like, exploring ideas and engaging in discussion, but not announcement of actual policy itself. However a suggestion by Lord Adonis at a fringe that the Local Enterprise Partnerships could be grouped together to make more effective groups has got Mark in a bit of a tizz and stating that he would fight tooth and nail to protect it. Lets not forget though that the last time he said he would fight tooth and nail against any form of regionalisation (in this case the Police), a few weeks later Teresa May was publishing the approach as Tory Policy. Who knows what will happen next. GFirst LEP are still evolving their role and their new offices at he Growth Hub will see them develop further, so to say how they will look in 6, 12 or 24 months time and what the best structure is to deliver economic prosperity for Gloucestershire is still a movable feast. I for one wouldn’t like to restrict how the LEPs work in the future in some sort of knee jerk, scaremongering, reaction.
Still, he can obviously see where the future is headed as he has written to Lord Adonis to ask him to protect the LEP in Gloucestershire when Labour wins the General election.