The recently introduced Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) should be meticulous in identifying barriers that impede growth in local and regional economies and subsequently apply the necessary strategic planning policies to overcome socio-economic issues. Relative to this, the specific focus of the following briefing paper analyses the methodological steps required by the policy makers in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP to assess current issues correctly in order to apply appropriate strategic policy action. In addition, the report clarifies the possible indicators that provide an outline of socio-economic conditions in the LEP, as a parallel, recommendation on reliable data sources will be provided. Important enquiries will be made in regards to monitoring and measurement of indicators for future planning strategy in the LEP. Currently the necessity to measure the outcomes resulting from data research within spatial policy is absent from the existing local Government Performance Framework (RTPI.org.uk). Significantly, the spatial planning system requires the development plan and core strategy be created on a robust credible evidence base.
Methodology: Recommendations for the development indicators, research and analysis.
The fundamental reasons of analysing indicators is to explore their patterns of spatial distribution and to investigate the degree to which there is measurable co-variation and interactive effect across different issues of the phenomenon studied (Wong 2006). Such analysis is generally guided by existing theories on the relationship between different factors or variables. There are however, major difficulties when connecting independent variables and the measurement of these variables in practice. Data collection will assist this process by corroborating and validating the theoretical conclusions from qualitative with empirical evidence. In regards to credible online data sets, it remains that the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and other official data such as census data are the most important sources when compiling information of certain demographic or socio-economic indicators for a particular region. The advantage of using these datasets is their credibility as relevant data, which are therefore thus more eagerly accepted by the recipient. In addition, unlike one off surveys, data from official sites can be compared across time and across space.
During the process of collecting only a small amount of data for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP in this particular brief, some issues arose. For example, databases designed for specific policy purposes were found to contain information that could be processed for reporting at finer spatial scales rather than just for the LEP specifically. Consequently, the study of such data at the detailed spatial scale for measurement of the urban areas of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP would require a significant amount of research effort to process,...