Brian takes partnership’s helm

A MAJOR new organisation tasked with leading the economic recovery has chosen major Bedfordshire personalities to sit on its board.

South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) has chosen Brian Hibbert, pictured, who chairs Bedfordshire and Luton Chamber of Commerce as its interim leader.

Professor Les Ebdon, vice chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, will represent Higher and Further Education in the SEMLEP patch, which includes Aylesbury, Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.

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The board of the new limited company will consist of six public sector directors, an equal number of private sector directors, a private sector chairman, as well as representatives of the educational sector and an observer from the voluntary and community sector.

The public sector directors include three councillors from Bedfordshire, Dave Hodgson, the mayor of Bedford, Luton Borough Council’s Roy Davis and Central Bedfordshire Council’s leader, Tricia Turner.

The private sector Board places will, on an interim basis, be filled by members of the business organisations with a geographical spread of representatives from the Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses and Institute of Directors.

The SEMLEP Steering Group met on March 16 and decided that advertisements for the posts of chairman and private sector board members will appear on the website shortly.

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The chairman will be appointed, following an open advertising process, by a nominations committee consisting of three local authority and three business representatives. The business organisations will appoint the private sector directors on the board following a similar process.

SEMLEP will be supported by a small team of people at the Luton and Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce offices, in Kimpton Road.

> Visit the SEMLEP website at