The role of the Commission

The Essex Economic Commission is a new advisory body set up to help shape the economy in one of the UK’s most exciting growth areas. Local authorities across the Greater Essex area (Southend, Thurrock and the County of Essex) have an ambition to become one of the strongest and fastest growing economies in the UK.

The Commission has its root in this ambition. Local Authority Leaders have, therefore, asked Dr Andrew Sentance CBE to lead an independent Economic Commission providing advice and analysis over the next three years.

They have done this with the support of key business groups and partnerships (e.g. the Greater Essex Business Board, the South Essex Growth Partnership) and higher education partners (i.e. Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Essex). The Commission was announced in May 2016 and will begin its work to engage with local partners, business groups and forums throughout the summer of 2016.


The Commission will help partners think differently about economic growth in Greater Essex, providing expert advice on an ongoing basis. 

The Commission will provide analysis that is objective and evidence based. It will be independent of any political party and or any specific local authority. The Commission’s analysis will, however, inform and influence decisions and investment that affect Greater Essex – whether these are made at the local, national or European level.

In particular, the Commission has been asked to:

a. establish a strong body of evidence on the economic performance and potential of Greater Essex and its constituent economies.  

b. support a common understanding amongst local partners, Whitehall officials and Ministers, of:

  • the economic impact of key decisions and investment programmes; and
  • long-term drivers of growth across the Greater Essex economy; 

c. help reframe thinking on local economic growth within the UK – exploring how decisions taken at local level can unlock growth and improve social outcomes in multi-centred economies like Essex, as well as in large cities.

d. help influence decisions taken at national level, drawing on commissioners’ profile, credibility and expertise to influence key opinion formers and decision-makers.