An ambitious, collaborative programme for securing successful and sustainable growth across Hertfordshire is being backed by Hertsmere’s leaders.
Hertsmere Borough Councillors voted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) setting out the objectives and aims of the Hertfordshire Growth Board, at a full council meeting on Wednesday 22 January. The aim of the board, which represents all 10 district and borough councils, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, is to respond to the key growth challenges facing the county, including the need for infrastructure, homes and ensuring economic growth, through a future programme which builds on existing strong partnerships.
Among its objectives are a commitment to identifying investment opportunities and potential sources of funding; a pledge to speak with one voice to central government and a commitment to setting out a shared vision for place and growth.
Hertsmere’s newly appointed Managing Director Sajida Bijle said: “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is an exciting and important step for the borough and Hertfordshire as a whole.
“In Hertsmere, as the rest of the county, we need more homes and different types of homes, we need more jobs and more businesses to invest in the area, and we need to develop better ways of getting around in the years and decades ahead.
“We have long understood and recognised the importance of working with our partners towards a set of agreed growth challenges and ambitions.
“Through the Hertfordshire Growth Board, we can work out how we can best respond to those challenges and build on our success to ensure that the borough remains a thriving place to live and work, now and in the future.”
David Williams, Chairman of Hertfordshire Growth Board and Hertfordshire LEP Board member, said: “The growth board is the way we are now working together on planning, economic growth and ensuring that we secure the infrastructure our communities expect.
“It raises our profile and helps us speak with one joint-voice to government and its agencies.
“The Memorandum of Understanding symbolises the development of a new approach of close collaboration between councils, and of nurturing effective partnerships across the public and private sectors.
“This strengthens decision-making, will support local engagement and, in turn, fosters a strong sense of place in our communities.”
Hertfordshire LEP Chair Mark Bretton said: “Hertfordshire LEP plays a vital role in ensuring the voice of business is represented within the Hertfordshire Growth Board.
“This new Memorandum of Understanding is another positive step to strengthen collaboration between the LEP, county council and local authorities, and we welcome the opportunity to work more closely to drive forward business-led economic growth within the county.”
Other local authorities represented on the growth board are Broxbourne Borough Council, Dacorum Borough Council, East Herts District Council, North Hertfordshire District Council, St Albans City and District Council, Three Rivers District Council, Watford Borough Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.