Plans don’t mean much, but that’s the way it works

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Another day, another ambitious plan that is going to save all of our job woes.
That’s certainly how it feels whenever we run a story about an organisation setting out its goals for the economic future of our area.

On page 10 today, we can report the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has submitted its draft plan to the government on the ways it wants to see money invested here.

On the surface, it all sounds a bit dry (the phrase ‘draft strategic economic plan’ isn’t particularly inspiring), but there are actually some tangible targets here.

The name of the document is one of them – Transforming the Solent.

The partnership wants to see the creation of 15,000 jobs and 1,000 new businesses by 2020.

That’s a specific number, within a specific time frame, and therefore it should be easy enough to keep tabs on.

It’s easy to roll our eyes every time another plan is unveiled promising new economic fortunes.

But in this increasingly bureaucratic world we live in, that’s the game organisations like the local enterprise partnership have to play in order to win us a slice of any support up for grabs from the government.

It might all sound like a waste of time, but a lot of hours have to be put in to making a bulletproof blueprint to show those in Whitehall that we know what we are doing and what we are asking for.

And the outcome of exercises like this are vital if we want to win any kind of support from those in charge.

Every part of our area has a part to play, from the Daedalus airfield enterprise zone, to the new development north of Fareham, and the work at Tipner.

What we need to see now is regular updates on the progress of the plan, and evidence of whether these targets are on their way to being met.