Sunday, 25 September 2011


This weeks announcement by the coalition government that it has awarded full "LEP" status to the newly morphed Northampton Enterprise Partnership was warmly greeted in the local media and by Tory local politicians with all the usual trumpet fanfares  and hurrahs promising us all good times just around the corner and promising new work a plenty for all followers and believers.

70,000 new jobs for Northamptonshire was the latest promise from NEP.

WOW really! That's ok then, spend a plenty, hire new staff open another overseas office, no need to explain yourself any further were all sold on the idea already!

But hang on a minute? Don't we already have some new jobs already promised and already on the way? For instance  WNDC (West Northamptonshire Development Corporation) has promised us 37,500 new jobs for the county before 2021! and then SEMLEP (South East Midlands) when it was formed earlier this year  promises in it's publicity to provide 8,000 new jobs a year for the area it cover meaning around 3,000 each year for Northamptonshire, a total of 30,000 new jobs by WNDC's target date of 2021. But hang on a minute I forgot someone, NNDC (North Northamptonshire Development Company) Let's see what they promise on their website? 47,400 new jobs in the same period!

That's 114,900 new jobs in the next ten years! Brilliant. and now to top it all another 70,000 new jobs from the newly formed NEP by 2026 That's 184,900 new jobs for the county in fifteen years! An average of 12,396 new jobs a year! Break open the champagne, Fantastic news all round! Daily Mail readers will be particularly pleased given the right wing rags recent headline declaring that 3 out of every four 4 new jobs created go to foriegn workers.

In fact 184,900 new jobs is incredible news given that currently Northamptonshire has only 210,900 full time workers between the ages of 16 and 74.  And with an unemployment rate in the county of just 4% we can get every job seeker back into work in under 12 months! We can even re employ all those public workers and shop workers who have lost their jobs in the recent reccession

FULL EMPLOYMENT by Christmas 2012, these "enterprise" people are saints!

And then just to keep pace with their extraordinary job creation powers most of us in the county will have to take on two jobs and work from dawn to dusk to ensure we that we pay homage to these great gods of job creation!

Of course we could just double the population, but even the most ambitious of house building programmes in the county will only see the working population rise in single figure percentages.

And if we need to build enough homes to service the 184,900 new jobs in the economy then we will need to create even more new jobs within the building trade to accomplish this massive feat and the problem of where to house these new workers will grow even bigger!

What a dilemma!

Of course all of these quangos and economic engines might just be exaggerating a tad? Or perhaps even trying to lay claim for the credit for creating the very same jobs that their competitors have already promised to create? Surely though the press wouldn't fall for such smoke and mirrors and corporate spin.

So are they real about their plans for NEP? No surely not? this must all be a misprint after all this is the same Tory party that promised us a bonfire of the quango's so they wouldn't support even more being set up would they,  that would be too embarrassing a uturn and a duplication of tasks that we can hardly afford in the present economic climate.

Imagine us funding more than one organisation to perform exactly the same duties as others already in situ can we be serious? And to think of the wasted time of all those top business leaders involved as board members and consultants servicing all these double entry, publicly funded bodies, when are they ever going to find time to lead in business! When will they find time in the real world to create the very jobs that they have already created as advisors to the job creators

No duplication just wont do

Then again perhaps it will? This is after all Northamptonshire a county which has at least four tiers of local government (parish, town, district/borough and county) and eleven planning committees (7 district/borough, WNDC, WNJPU, NNJPU, and the county)

So why not more jobs for the boys (or girls) after all it's just we need, who needs front line local government staff like home helps, sheltered wardens and youth workers when we can hire more planners and tourism officers? Who needs street lights and care homes when we know that a fully staffed economic engagement office in Brussels is much more of a priority.

So let's have a local enterprise partnership for every street in the county! We could all apply for European grants to help us pay for our own street lights, after all when we are all working double shifts day and night to keep up with all these new jobs NEP has created, we will need to see where we are going!

It makes me tired just thinking about it, I am off to my bed to get some rest before I start my two new jobs!



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