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Thames Valley Berkshire

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Governance and Transparency

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).

Governance Assurance Statement

As a private company (limited by guarantee) we operate in accordance with the Companies Act 2006; this provides a format with which our directors are familiar as business leaders and dictates standards of governance and behaviour.

Our Articles of Association set out our membership, with the aim of creating a balanced representation from the local business environment. Our private and community sector directors and representatives are selected through an open, transparent, non-discriminatory competition, which assesses each candidate on merit. A cascade approach is used to advertise vacancies, using both traditional methods and social media; 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.

We recruit new volunteers by informing our extensive network: we continue to turnover our membership as directors’ and representatives’ terms of office come to an end. This has proved positive, as it brings new ideas and energy to the LEP, avoids stagnancy of ideas, and ensures that we are not a ‘club’ for a select few. In the past year, we have recruited four new directors.

The agendas and minutes of our Board, Forum and Programme Groups are all published on our website.

A key strength of our governance structure is the role of the LEP Forum, which, through the inclusion of a senior councillor from each of the six unitary authorities, functions as a Local Authority Joint Scrutiny Committee. It provides rigorous oversight of the LEP, and challenges, scrutinises and ratifies decisions made or recommended by the Board. It has the power to ‘call in’ decisions if at least four members of the Forum apply to do so.

The LEP has retained the Berkshire Local Transport Body (BLTB) as the competent body to prioritise and implement transport capital schemes on our behalf. These represent a major proportion of our total spending programme. The Body consists of six elected members and six private sector representatives, the latter recruited and appointed by the LEP. It oversees the work of independent assessors that scrutinise transport schemes in accordance with a DfT-approved Assurance Framework. The BLTB is constituted as a Joint Committee of the six local authorities, thus offering a further mechanism for scrutiny of the LEP’s processes.  Slough Borough Council acts as lead authority, who publish the agendas, reports and minutes on their website.

Our own Assurance Framework complies with the National Assurance Framework and the government’s best practice guidance. An explanation of our decision-making process is publicly available on the Governance and Transparency page of our website.

Our Annual Conference for 2021/22 was held on 23 November 2021 with the theme of ‘A Future for Everyone: An Inclusive Recovery and Renewal’. The event was live streamed enabling to have a larger audience than is possible with a live event.