MP calls on audit office to investigate Peterborough’s Local Enterprise Partnership

Steve Barclay
Steve Barclay

A Fenland MP has called on the National Audit Office to investigate the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) after alleging that its board members have received grants from the organisation.

Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, also alleged in an open letter to the audit office that a small number of developers have made “significant increases in profits” while benefitting from large grants from the LEP or bodies working closely with it.

Mr Barclay wrote: “The LEP has failed to answer questions regarding the close relationship of key LEP board members with a small number of property developers.”

The allegations are all spelt out in the letter to Sir Amyas Morse, Comptroller & Auditor General at the National Audit Office, and copied to local government minister Andrew Percy.

The LEP, which drives wealth and jobs creation in the county, said board members are asked to complete an annual submission outlining their interests outside of their LEP role for audit purposes, and that at each board meeting members are asked to confirm if they have any conflicts of interest relating to the items on the agenda.

Those items are then declared within the minutes with the board member not participating in the decision making around the items.

The LEP added that the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy also provides oversight of LEP activities.

An LEP spokesperson said: “The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP is compliant with the Government’s Assurance Framework. We would be happy to answer any further questions the National Audit Office or government may have regarding the matters raised.”

The register of interest can be found here.

Mr Barclay’s letter can be read here.