Support and Advice Requests
How the LEP Handles Commercially Sensitive Enquiries
About the LEP and its values
The LEP welcomes stakeholders getting in touch to discuss good project ideas or to ask for advice or support. We are here to help businesses and want you to approach us. However, in approaching us, we appreciate that you will need to understand how we will handle your enquiry and be reassured that we have measures in place to handle sensitive material and potential conflicts of interest.
The LEP is a partnership between the private and public sectors in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, established to provide the clear vision and strategic leadership to drive private sector led growth and job creation throughout the area, engaging and empowering the private sector to play a key role.
The Board have agreed to work to the Nolan principles (selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership) and to abide by certain values which are summarised here.
Board directors are aware of the need to declare their interests, not only when documents are circulated but also during meetings. There is a separate process in place to cover interests held by board directors and how they are to be dealt with.
There may however be occasions when an applicant would prefer a board director or other person (for example a member of the LEP Executive) not to see a particular application.
How we deal with requests for advice
The easiest way to contact the LEP Executive is via email, giving a brief summary of your project proposition and what advice or support you think you need.
So that the LEP can handle your request sensitively, fairly and appropriately, we will assume that the material you submit or wish to discuss is commercial in confidence or of a sensitive nature. However, you will also need to tell us whether there is any specific Board director or any officer* that supports the LEP that should either be excluded from access to your material, should not be part of any meeting (if a meeting is required) and/or should not receive any resulting notes of that meeting. A full list of Board directors can be found here.
*The LEP draws its support from officers of Cornwall Council, Isles of Scilly Council and also utilises expertise within Cornwall Development Company when appropriate.
Whilst LEP board directors and the LEP executive will be mindful of conflicts of interest, project proposers may be aware of possible conflicts surrounding the particular application. Enabling the proposer to identify likely conflicts prior to the application being circulated allows for a more rigorous process and gives the project proposer the opportunity to deal with commercial sensitivities at an early stage. If the project proposer does not wish a particular board director or officer, to be included in the circulation of the application, then the onus is on the project proposer to state this at the outset.
It is likely that a lead officer will be allocated to liaise with the project proposer keeping in touch as to who he/she intends to share the details with and why. As the enquiry progresses, this will allow the project proposer to have the opportunity to say if they would prefer any particular person not to see their application or other related information.
How we deal with specific requests for letters of support
We ask everyone requiring a letter of support to complete a simple form. This information is automatically treated as commercial in confidence. As for other enquiries or requests for advice, any information provided on the letters of support form will be seen by Board Directors and the LEP Executive team on the understanding that it will remain confidential; however, if you do not wish the information you supply to be seen by specific directors or officers, you must clearly state this when you submit your form to the LEP Executive.
If the letter is required to accompany a funding bid you are making, the way the LEP handles your request will vary depending upon whether the funding you are applying for is local funding or national funding:
- If your project is seeking a letter of support to accompany a funding application where the funding is part of a local Cornwall programme (e.g. Convergence), the LEP Executive Team will consider your project in the context of LEP strategies and if appropriate, will provide you with a supportive statement. This statement will carry the caveat that support at this early stage will not bind the LEP to approve the project when and if an application is submitted to a funding scheme where the LEP is part of the decision making process. In providing a supportive statement the LEP is not making a financial commitment to your project.
- If your project is seeking a letter of support to accompany a funding application where the funder is a national organisation, then this form will be circulated to the LEP Board directors in advance of their next meeting or if timing does not permit that, will be circulated virtually for their comments. If Board directors agree to support the project, a letter of support will be issued. Given that LEP Board directors will not have seen a fully worked up business plan, the letter of support, if given, will be caveated to indicate support in principle.
Any letters of support will be given on the basis of the project's fit with the LEP strategies rather than an endorsement of the project or a financial commitment.
Letters of support cannot be provided if your organisation is tendering for work nor can they be provided to support planning applications.
On receipt of your application, you will receive an acknowledgement with an indication of when we will be able to give you a decision.