Policies & Procedures

Local Enterprise Partnerships are voluntary partnerships between local authorities education organisations and businesses to help determine local economic priorities and lead on productivity and prosperity growth within their local area. Our LEP is constituted as a Community Interest Company – a corporate body; it enters into agreements and holds funds via an accountable local authority which acts on its behalf. The accountable local authority for our LEP is Somerset Council.

The Heart of the South West LEP operates within an Assurance Framework which sets out its governance arrangements, policies and protocols, and the relationship with the accountable local authority including management of funding. This can be downloaded from the list below, along with other relevant policies.

These set out the terms of reference for our board and how it will operate.

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and its accountable body, Somerset Council, have responsibility for ensuring that all funding decisions are made in accordance with the Assurance Framework, which  ensures robust and accountable processes are in place, as required by Government in dealing with public funds.  The  Chief Executive  is responsible for day to day processes and ensuring value for money is delivered.

Below is the National Local Growth Assurance Framework. This framework sets out government’s guidance for places that are required to develop their own local assurance framework. It applies to Mayoral Combined Authorities with a Single Pot and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

This policy is for the rolling replacement and/or retirement of HotSW Board members, following the Strengthened LEPs report.

All directors and staff follow these codes of conduct.

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction about any aspect of HotSW LEP.

Our ordinary complaints procedure may not be suitable if someone wants the complaint to remain confidential. This policy is if a confidential complaint is received.

Sets out where conflicts of interest may arise and how they are to be managed.

If you are seeking HotSW endorsement for your project or proposal, we ask that the following process is followed:

A response will usually be forthcoming within two weeks. In the event that the project meets the criteria, a formal letter of endorsement will be issued.  If it does not meet the criteria, we will explain the reasons behind our decision.

Please note: the Heart of the South West will not endorse projects verbally. Without the formal letter of endorsement, projects will not be able to claim approval. In the event that this claim is made without foundation, we may elect to inform the appropriate bodies to ensure that our reputation and those of the partners is protected.

The governing arrangements for each of the Enterprise Zones can be found below:

Gravity Enterprise Zone

*This is an extract of the ‘Huntspill Energy Park: Implementation Plan dated March 2017’.

Oceansgate Enterprise Zone

*This is an extract of the ‘Oceansgate Enterprise Zone Implementation Plan March 2017’.

Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone

*This is an extract of the ‘Appendix 3 EZ Implementation Plan amended January 2018 v1’.

A current register of gifts and hospitality declarations from September 2018 can be found HERE.

For a register of gifts and hospitality declarations from before September 2018, a freedom of information request will need to be submitted to Somerset Council, details of which can be found HERE.

The Joint Scrutiny Committee provides strategic overview and Scrutiny of the activities of the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

In meeting its purpose, the Joint Scrutiny Committee will be specifically charged with:

  • The review of strategic decisions made by the LEP Board;
  • The review of progress of programmes under the management of the LEP to identify barriers to progress, good practice and possible improvements to the LEP’s programme management function, notwithstanding the ability of Local Authorities to scrutinise individual programmes of delivery which impact on their communities;
  • Scrutiny of the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan and the Productivity Strategy; and
  • To review LEP performance and consider any comparative data the Joint Committee deems necessary

View the work programme.

Further details as well as meeting documents can be found here.

LEPs are committed to publishing minutes, agenda and papers for full board meetings and any sub-committees which involves decisions about public money. The HotSW LEP only has three such meetings; LEP Board, Strategic Investment Panel (SIP) and Finance and Resources Committee (F&R). The following policy outlines how the HotSW will comply with the Governance and Transparency Guidance published by Government in December 2017.

A current register travel, subsistence and expenses claims from September 2021 can be found HERE.

For a register of expenses from before September 2021, a freedom of information request will need to be submitted to Somerset Council, details of which can be found HERE.

Arising from concerns about a danger, risk, contravention of rules or illegality to act in the wider public interest, usually because it threatens others or impacts on public funds.


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    David Ralph

    Chief Executive

    David Ralph started as Chief Executive of Heart of South West LEP at the beginning of June 2018. Previously, he had spent 5 years as CEO of the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP from 2013 where he oversaw the development of the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan and sector strategies, 3 Growth Deals with HM Government to deliver a £1billion capital investment programme, securing and implementing £200m ESIF programme, the Derby and Nottingham Enterprise Zone, the D2N2 Skills Deal and Time for Innovation programme, community fund and led the executive team to develop the HS2 East Midlands hub. He was also closely involved in the proposed North Midlands Devolution Deal and one of the key architects in establishing the Midlands Engine, chairing the officer steering group. Whilst in this role David was a NED of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, and Marketing NG, the Outer Estates Foundation and a Governor of Nottingham College and on the advisory Board of Nottingham Business School.

    Before the East Midlands, David was CEO of the Have Gateway Partnership working closely with local stakeholders including the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich and Ipswich and BT Adadastral Park across Suffolk and Essex and prior to that was Chief Exec of the Barton Hill New Deal for Communities programme in Bristol and the Nelm Development Trust in Norwich.

    David is a keen sailor, walker and trail runner.