Members may have heard the recent news about the AEB programme delivering a significant financial underspend. This is very disappointing given the fact that a number of our members, with excellent track records of delivering AEB, were not awarded a contract this year due to their tenders falling below the £100,000 contract threshold. We have highlighted this issue to the Combined Authority as the underspend and reduction in local AEB supplier base may have implications on the level of funding being allocated to the Liverpool City Region funding in future.
Coupled with this, there are ongoing issues with the DfE over the devolution of the AEB budget to the 6 areas, including the Liverpool City Region, with Metro Mayors recently meeting the DfE to raise their concerns about the pace and process of the AEB devolution.
GMLPF and the Combined Authority recently facilitated some workshops with members to understand how AEB resources were being used with a view to informing future investment decisions. Data provided by members is currently being analysed.
GMLPF will continue to update members on the future management of AEB.