Establishing a sound organizational basis for LED planning is the first stage in the process.
Establish an internal group
The first stage in the process is to establish an internal group to oversee the process. This group should sit within the local authority and include people from across the various local authority departments that are likely to have an interest in LED and the local economy. Membership should be at both Elected Member and at officer levels.
Managing and engaging your stakeholders
Generate a list of potential stakeholders. These are organisations/individuals in the public/private and not-for-profit sectors that could be useful in the local economic development process. By involving stakeholders you are likely to develop a better LED strategy as there will be input from specialists, and special interest groups. You may also be able to persuade stakeholders to support you in your efforts, e.g. help in research and information gathering and project implementation. Establish a plan for engaging all stakeholders in the local economic development process, both internal and external. There are many ways to ensure that stakeholders become involved and remain involved in the process. These usually cost more in time than in money.
Establish an adhoc/ steering committee
Establish an adhoc/steering committee to include all key internal local authority and external stakeholders. The local authority will normally provide institutional support for this partnership, especially at the start of the work. This is mainly because other stakeholders are reluctant to contribute resources ahead of seeing some direct benefit. From a local authority perspective, providing the institutional support does give a degree of control that may well be needed in the early days of establishing LED strategies and partnerships. In the future there may be opportunities to formalize the working relationships through formal public/private sector partnerships. Establish a terms of reference for this group to function.