23/10/2013Mr. Colin E. Wales SEDBERGH, CUMBRIA Our Ref: Wale001/22/ag 23 October 2013
Thank you very much for your recent email with regard to the concern about the serious conflict of interest, when government employees are appointed as members or liaison officers for Local Enterprise Partnerships.
I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Secretary of State to ask for the information that you have stipulated and I will write again, when I have received the response. I certainly agree with your sentiments on the dubious nature of such practice.
With best wishes
Tim Farron MP
Apologies for taking up your time again on the same problem but a colleague from Carlisle has bought to my attention what can only be described as an amazing and outstanding conflict of interest which require answers. To that end I have outlined a couple of questions below which you may like to ask the responsible minister on the floor of the House. – You will no doubt be able to frame them better than I have done.
Mark Higson the CEO of the Office for Nuclear Development https://www.gov.uk/government/policy-teams/82 ( and head honcho radioactive waste disposal) has been appointed, self appointed, to the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. ( See attached Document – minutes of Cumbria LEP)
Why should, or indeed how could, a CEO of a major Government Department be bothered with any local region LEP? And more, how could said person ever be an un-biased “Critical friend to interpret Whitehall policy?” – It beggars belief Tim.
I wonder if the public Minutes of the LEP show that Mr Higson is advising on diversifying the west Cumbria economy into high quality food production, renewables and light engineering. Or if his advice is more restricted .. Please remember is was the ex corporate communications manager of NIREX and latterly of the NDA (John Dalton) who set out in an internal memo how local politicians should be “groomed” to the NIREX view and those who disagreed “marginalised”. ( Page 15 NIREX Report – Attached) I really do worry Tim.
I would greatly appreciate it if you could ask (or similar):-
Q:- Can we please list the names of, or how many Whitehall departmental CEO’s are acting as a “Liaison officers” to Local Enterprise Partnerships?
Q:- Is this paid by DECC. And, is this within the UK competition rules, and regional aid rules of the European Union”.
On a lighter note….I wonder if Mark Higson likes Chinese take-aways? – Osborne certainly does!