LCR Roles and Responsibilities

Liverpool City Region Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) have agreed local governance arrangements that reflect their individual and combined roles and responsibilities.

Such arrangements are guided by the National Local Growth Assurance Framework guidance, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in January 2019, and the recommendations of ‘Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships (MHCLG July 2018).

The agreement formalises, regularises and aligns local processes and procedures covering;

  • The ‘Advisory and challenge function’ of the LEP:
  • ‘Alignment of decision-making’ to provide transparency and clarity in how decisions are made and by whom:
  • The ‘Accountability’ of each entity to the other and separately and together to Her Majesty’s Government (HMG):
  • Achieving ‘Efficiency and corporate identity’ by rationalising and aligning resources and functions so as to avoid duplication but without compromising the integrity and independence of the LEP: and
  • Detail how the LEP will be subject to the ‘Overview and scrutiny’ arrangements of the MCA and its constituent local authorities:

The individual roles and responsibilities of the MCA and the LEP are detailed in section 2 of the Liverpool City Region National Local Growth Assurance Framework but the headline arrangements for each of the above themes is as follows;

Advisory and challenge function

The LEP has a Board comprising of twenty members taken from the private sector as well as Third Sector, Higher Education and Further Education representative. It includes the Metro Mayor of the MCA together with two portfolio leads of the MCA who are also leaders of constituent local authorities.

The LEP Chair, and the Deputy Chair as the alternate, is a non-voting member of the MCA and is also the MCA portfolio holder for Business and Brexit. Further, the LEP Chair or an alternate from the LEP Board represent the LCR alongside the MCA on extra-boundary groups such as Transport for the North or the Mersey-Dee Alliance whilst also acting independently on such as the Management Board of the LEP Network.

Supporting the LEP Board are a range of sector specific and thematic sub-boards that extend both its expertise and knowledge base and also representation. The sub-boards are provided executive capacity through a dedicated entity and not by officers of the MCA or constituent local authorities. The main board also receives most of its support through this entity but the MCA provides further support through its Head of Paid Service (the MCA CEO), the Section 73 Officer and its Chief Legal Officer & Monitoring Officer.

Alignment of decision-making

The LEP and MCA enjoy a coterminous boundary and have agreed who will make funding decisions over the use of funds whether awarded to the LEP or MCA. The funds subject to these agreements may change over time, either being exhausted, renewed or augmented. In view of this, a schedule is included in the NLGAF (Schedule 1) that details the reserved and delegated powers for decision making over funds awarded to the LEP and which will be kept under review as funding sources change.

Without detailing the individual funds here, they effectively fall into either capital or revenue with decisions on the former being taken by the MCA within pre-agreed parameters operated as a Single Pot investment framework called the Strategic Investment Fund.


The LEP has nominated the MCA to be its sole Accountable Body and it has also adopted the legal personality of the MCA. Despite the delegated arrangements described above the LEP remains accountable to HMG for the funds it is awarded and in turn holds the MCA accountable for their use and impact.
Although capital funding decisions are taken by the MCA, the LEP Board maintains oversight through the receipt of performance reports and updates and through the involvement of the independent executive in various groups and panels that oversee the administration of these funds.

As the LEP has adopted the legal personality of the MCA, the latter executes those decisions as if they were their own. As such, where funding decision are taken by the LEP, the MCA will subject them to all of the required regulation and scrutiny pertinent to the use of public funds.

Efficiency and corporate identity

In utilising the MCA as its accountable body, the LEP utilises the expertise and resources of the MCA with regard to functions such as project appraisal, legal and monitoring and evaluation rather than duplicate these.
The independent executive, previously mentioned, provides support to the LEP Board and its sub-boards in advising and informing policy, strategy and modes of intervention. These are in areas in which the MCA does not employ staff and so the MCA gains further expertise for the private sector on those areas. In some instances these latter resources are embedded within the MCA through secondment arrangements.

Whilst the main relationship, in this regard, is between the LEP and MCA there is also alignment with the constituent local authorities whereby a central hub is supported and operates through local satellites such as the Growth Hub.
Despite the close relationships, the joint working and the alignment of resources branding is not unified but reflects the distinct and separate personalities of the LEP and MCA. However, there are agreed and clear branding guidelines and protocols that ensure local and regional branding such as Northern Powerhouse and HMG branding, where appropriate, are used to ensure the origin of funds and the responsibility for heir use is clearly articulated.

Overview and scrutiny

The LEP has retained its independence and has its own Constitution and Code of Conduct and other relevant policies but in adopting the legal personality of the MCA it has been incorporated into the MCA’s Constitution. Its decisions are treated as if they were those of the MCA and as such are within scope of the MCA’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Further, through its membership of the MCA its Chair attends MCA meeting s and can be subject to scrutiny through those meetings by other members or the public. This is further enhanced as overview and scrutiny is not restricted to the MCA but extends to any of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees of the constituent local authorities.

Further detail on these five themes of the LCR LEP and MCA governance framework can be found in section 2 of the NLGAF.