OxLEP publish revised draft of SEP

SEP-02OxLEP has published the revised version of the draft Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

The latest draft is available via the OxLEP website.

There is also a version (linked from the above page) with tracked changes.

Need not Greed Oxon is currently considering the implications of these revisions and how we should respond, in particular what actions are needed to generate a robust challenge to local authorities as they go through this process.

Need not Greed Oxon’s initial response to revised SEP:

An initial reading of the revised SEP reveals that the text is undoubtedly an improvement on the original version.

It contains a much clearer rationale and has picked up a number of the points raised by NNGO.  For example:

– much clearer commitments and priorities within the ‘Place’ section

– greater recognition given to market towns and rural areas

– reference to innovative solutions for affordable housing such as community land trusts.

However, unsurprisingly, there are no fundamental shifts in position: 

– there is no movement on the overall growth targets

– there is still no assessment of the cumulative environmental and social impacts.

What is clear is that OxLEP is seeking to put the ball firmly back with our Local Authorities in terms of responsibility for the targets (as the quotes below demonstrate):

‘The SEP is based on the scale of growth set out in each of the District’s adopted and emerging Local Plans, which for Oxfordshire involves an additional 88,000 jobs between 2011 and 2031 and approximately 100,000 new homes.’

‘The SEP supports delivery of the scale of growth envisaged in the District Local Plans, but it does not itself add to those plans.’

‘Should the scale of planned growth be adjusted in future revisions to Local Plans – either upwards or downwards – then the SEP will be reviewed accordingly.’

This is an interesting position in the light of the forthcoming Council meetings where the SEP is due to be discussed. 

A reminder of the date of these meetings:

Oxford – 15 September

Oxfordshire County Council – 20 September

West Oxon – 21 September

Cherwell – 3 October

South Oxon – 6 October

Vale of White Horse– 7 October

Next steps:

The revised SEP is still a work in progress. It will be considered at the following over the autumn months:

  • The six Local Authority Executive and Cabinet meetings
  • The OxLEP Board
  • The Oxfordshire Growth Board (26 September)
  • The Oxfordshire Skills Board

OxLEP will further revise the SEP in light of the comments received from the Local Authorities and the OxLEP, Oxfordshire Growth and Skills Boards.

A final SEP 2016 will be published in November 2016.

Find out more on the OxLEP website.