How the LLEP works – working with our accountable body, Leicester City Council
LEPs are non-statutory bodies and as such require an accountable body to manage funding from government and other sources. The accountable body, through its section 151 officer (the director of finance), is responsible for ensuring that statutory requirements are met in resource allocation decisions and that the public interest is protected.
Leicester City Council is the accountable body for the LLEP. In addition, the council hosts the LLEP, including acting as formal employer to its staff and providing corporate support services such as Finance, Legal, HR and IT. The LLEP has no separate legal entity, and hence the council acts on its behalf where formal legal agreements are required, such as when the LLEP awards grants and loans. The council takes the ultimate legal and financial responsibility for the LLEP’s activities.
The accountable body is involved in all LLEP decisions by virtue of having representation or rights of attendance on the various boards and groups of the LLEP, via officers and elected members. The city mayor represents Leicester City Council on the LLEP board as both a strategic partner and as accountable body.
The responsibilities of the accountable body include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring that the decisions and activities of the LLEP conform to legal requirements with regard to equality, social, and environmental impacts;
- Ensuring, through Leicester City Council’s section 151 officer, that the LLEP funds are used and accounted for appropriately;
- Ensuring that local government transparency code requirements are met including the publication of annual accounts;
- Ensuring that the government’s National Assurance Framework and the Local Assurance Framework are adhered to;
- Maintaining the official record of LLEP proceedings and holding all LLEP legal documents;
- Ensuring that all of the LLEP’s decisions are legally sound, in the public interest and are taken following the correct processes.
The accountable body has the right not to implement funding decisions made by the LLEP provided there are sufficient and substantial mitigating reasons, such as procedural deficiencies in decision making, over committing on financial resources that can be accurately evidenced in agreement with the board, or where a LLEP decision appears to be unlawful or not in the public interest.
Our relationship with our accountable body is critical to enable the efficient and effective functioning, and good corporate governance of the LLEP. Of equal importance, is our relationship with other key stakeholders. The LLEP consistently works to build and maintain strong working relationships with all stakeholders and partners involved in driving economic growth across Leicester and Leicestershire. These agencies and stakeholders are represented on our boards and throughout our governance structure, and are vital in ensuring the key aims of our economic strategy are the goal of a concerted partnership, driving towards the betterment and growth of the economy of Leicester and Leicestershire.
For more information on the role and responsibilities of the accountable body, please see the Local Assurance Framework.
We are currently negotiating a service level agreement (SLA) with the accountable body.