In response to a question from the floor, Greg Clark said that these were opportunities for businesses and local authorities to tell government what they wanted to do and to be given permission to do it. This clashes with Vince Cable's statement a couple of weeks earlier that only 10-15% of bids submitted were fit for purpose - all these bids were created by local groups to offer a way forward through the embers of the Regional Development Agencies. They have been written with the barest minimum of advice from central government and with no promise of any significant funding to deliver on those plans. Now it seems that government can't make up its mind on the way forward.
There is a theory that part of the LEP approval process is meant to use the applications to identify good ideas that can then be applied to all, a sort of crowd sourced brainstorming session.
Really, is this any way to run a railroad? Still less a way to run regional regeneration.