LEP confirms Hamid as chairman

Asif Hamid, chief executive of The Contact Company, was chosen as chairman by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership board last week, after a period of acting as interim chairman.

The board voted on his appointment on Thursday 6 April. Hamid was previously vice-chairman of the LEP and acted as interim chairman after Robert Hough, chairman of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, stepped down last year.

Hamid said: “The LEP has, in the last five years, done a fantastic job in mobilising the businesses in our key growth sectors and the wider community to identify and realise the City Region’s growth potential working alongside our partners in local and central government. As we enter a new phase of governance for the City Region, the LEP is committed to supporting the Combined Authority and metro mayor in the successful implementation of the devolution deal agreed with Government to accelerate our city region’s economic growth.”

Hamid was one of the founding members of the LEP and sat on the shadow board from 2010. He is the chief executive of The Contact Company, which he started in 2006 with 15 staff. The Wirral-based company now employs more than 1,500 people and turns over £20m.

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Can somebody remind me again what the LEP has done? Another public sector refugee camp talking the talk. Just like Vision, Mersey Partnership previously, all variants on the same theme of rhetoric and big talk.

By John Smith

LEPs are private sector-led bodies introduced to replace the RDAs which fell victim to the last government’s bonfire of quangos, effectively signalling the end of regional policy.

Most things go in cycles however and we’re seeing the re-introduction of regional policy of sorts with the current government’s so-called industrial strategy.

Until genuine devolution takes place including revenue raising powers, all these top-down efforts are doomed to failure.

By Seen it all before

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