Warehouse premises in Avonmouth encouraged by Heseltine dialogue with Government about economic stimulation

Lord Heseltine has challenged the government to make more impressive steps to stimulate the economy.

In a new report, commissioned by Downing Street, he says that people think the UK “does not have a strategy for growth and wealth creation”.

He wants the funds used to support industry to be distributed locally, rather than through central government.

His plans would would give areas a chance of tackling regional problems individually and deciding how to encourage economic growth specifically to their locality.

His review makes 89 recommendations to help industry. One of its key aims is to move £49bn from central government to the regions to help local leaders and businesses.

The aim, he said, was to devolve power from Whitehall and re-invigorate the big cities that had fuelled the growth and wealth that the country had enjoyed in past decades.

LEPs’ powers should be enhanced, giving them responsibilities for growth and long-term strategies, and also get involved in social provision, he said.

“Once a LEP has been allocated funds, it should be free to implement its strategy, accountable to its local community but free from central government diktat,” Lord Heseltine said.

Mr Osborne said the report provided food for thought.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said he would also be considering the report and would respond in the coming months.

“The TUC shares Lord Heseltine’s vision of collaboration between the public and private sectors, with unions and employers working together to promote growth,” said general secretary Brendan Barber.

The report by Lord Heseltine will be launched in Birmingham today.

This is an encouraging step for all businesses, individuals and the population as a whole.

Source: BBC