Posted on:
21st December, 2021

EM3 LEP appoints new local authority members to its Board

Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership is welcoming three new local authority members to its board, as part of its close working partnership with local councils and with the communities they represent.

EM3 LEP’s new board members are: Councillor Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council; Councillor Phil North, Leader of Test Valley Borough Council in Hamsphire and Councillor Nick Prescot, Leader of Runnymede Borough Council.  Jim McAllister, Chief Executive of The Rutland Group, a family-owned property development, investment and management company, has renewed his term.

Cllr Oliver was elected to Elmbridge Borough Council in 1999 and became Leader in 2016, before being elected to Surrey County Council in 2017, subsequently being appointed Leader in 2018.

As Leader of Surrey County Council, along with the CEO, he has set the organisation on a journey of transformation and championed a bold ‘Vision for 2030’ for Surrey and its residents, to make sure everyone in the community is supported, allowed to thrive and to make sure no one is left behind.

Cllr Tim Oliver said: “Growing the economy in Surrey is one of the four key areas of focus for the County Council. We have a Surrey-wide Partnership Growth Board that has set a strategy to do exactly that, with a delivery plan and I see EM3 as a key player in its delivery.  EM3 has extensive experience in generating investment for the County and we want to harness that as part of the strategy. The LEP has a wealth of experience of working with businesses across Surrey and Hants and we want to build on that through the Growth Board

I will want to focus on supporting and encouraging the work the LEP is doing in Surrey but also using it as a bridge to closer working with Hampshire County Council to create a powerful geographical economic region stretching from the Solent to London.

At a time that the Government are undertaking a review of the LEPs I will want to ensure that we have a flexible relationship that can accommodate whatever their role will be going forward and ensuring that we don’t lose their expertise in the areas that matter to Surrey.”

Cllr North has been a councillor for 14 years including four years as leader of Test Valley Borough Council where he has made regenerating town centres the council’s number one priority. He has overseen the purchase of the area’s main shopping centre, the recruitment of some of the best master planners in the country and the adoption of those plans in principal towns.

Cllr Phil North said: “I believe I have the knowledge base and expertise to help and advise the LEP Board on the fast-changing aspects of our town centres, crucial for every community in our area.  I have built networks with a wide-variety of stakeholders which has given me an important insight into their challenges and the opportunities of working together, with the help of the LEP, to boost local economic prosperity. I want to use this knowledge and experience to make a wider contribution in this particular area on the LEP Board.”

Cllr North also serves on the Local Government Association Improvement and Innovation Board, and is the Hampshire representative for Transport for the South East, as well as being a member of the EM3 Joint Leaders Board for the last four years.