Energising local economies: Partnerships for prosperous communities

Local government in many countries has a growing responsibility to support and promote local economic development (LED). This covers a range of different issues for the local government sector, from setting overall local strategic priorities, providing an enabling environment and efficient services for economic development to flourish, local procurement of goods and services, promoting inward investment, supporting training and skills development, directly attracting jobs and investment, working with central government, the private sector and other partners to implement joint investment and job-creating strategies. A healthy local economy also helps to sustain the tax-base of local authorities.

 

In the current economic climate, creating the right environment to drive economic development is vital to countries and communities. Local government increasingly plays an important part in this, as one of the main promoters and facilitators of local economic development across the Commonwealth. More local governments being given the responsibilities and powers for local economic development, from strategic planning to create the right environment, infrastructure and skills to encourage development and inward investment, to supporting micro-business and promoting youth enterprise, local procurement of goods and services and working with central government, the private sector and other partners to implement joint ventures and partnerships.

Many local authorities in the Commonwealth can demonstrate how their actions have helped energise their local economies: others are just beginning to focus on this as an important responsibility to foster the prosperity and well-being of their communities.

This conference will:

  • help promote the role of local government in local economic development
  • highlight the role of central/state government in setting the national policy framework and an enabling environment to ensure that local economic development  supports national priorities
  • consider the role of local authorities in energising local economies, including facilitating economic growth to tackle poverty and improve the quality of life of citizens
  • look at ways in which councils are joining in partnerships with the private sector to boost inward investment, jobs and skills.

The conference will present a number of case studies that look at issues such as long-term visioning and planning, procurement, gender, skills development and the impact of HIV/AIDs,  and offer study visits to some exciting and innovative local economic development projects in and around Cardiff.

A background paper will be published which will look at some of the issues and present case studies from across the Commonwealth.

The outcomes of the discussion will be drawn together as guidelines to support those involved in local government in developing and implementing strategies for local economic development, and after endorsement at the CLGF General Meeting will become part of CLGF policy. They will be presented to Commonwealth Heads of Government for endorsement at their meeting in Perth later in 2011.

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