TVB LEP is a company limited by guarantee and as such, complies with the Companies Act 2006, which sets out the rules for the operation of companies. It acts as the engine of a wider strategic partnership, which is chaired and led by senior business figures.
The LEP is responsible for determining the key investment priorities to which public funds are directed in order to implement its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). The LEP Forum’s sector representatives are responsible for regularly feeding back information about the LEP to the constituencies and stakeholder organisations that either elected or appointed them. It is the Sovereign Body to which the Executive Board would seek to explain and justify its actions. As such, the Forum plays a central role in ensuring the accountability of the LEP to its wider constituency. It acts as a shareholding body and ratifies, challenges or scrutinizes decisions made or recommended by the Executive Board. The Forum includes a representative from each unitary authority who can vote on behalf of that authority when making decisions. The LEP’s Articles make this role explicit in defining the “Local Authority Representatives” precisely.
The Forum has been a successful model for decisions made to date, in allocating £55m of public funds, i.e. Growing Places Fund (GPF), Regional Growth and Local Growth Funds (LGF), in conjunction with the processes of the Accountable Body. Those matters reserved for the Forum are summarised in the diagram below, which also illustrates how the other decision-making bodies and the LEP work and are tied together.
This is set out in detail in an Assurance Framework, which was revised in January 2017, in conjunction with the LEP's Accountable Body (AB), the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. The purpose of the Framework is to determine the practices and standards necessary to provide assurance to government, local partners and the public that decisions on funding are proper, transparent and deliver value for money. The Framework applies to all government funding that Thames Valley Berkshire LEP and its AB are responsible for.
In addition to the Assurance Framework, the LEP publishes an Impact Report. This sets out the funding available to the LEP and how this has been invested during the financial year.
The LEP’s private sector and community sector directors and representatives are selected through an open, transparent and non-discriminatory competition, which assesses each candidate on merit. A cascade approach, using traditional and social media, is taken to advertising vacancies and the diversity and geographic base of candidates is reviewed at the short-listing stage. The remaining directors and sector representatives are nominated by their respective sectors and the arrangements for this are set out in the LEP’s Articles.