Is the Minister aware that there will be a wide welcome in the House for the more constructive Government and business attitude towards the local authority enterprise boards? Will he accept the need for better co-ordination to give prompt help to new and expanded businesses? Can he give the House any assurance of the future of the West Yorkshire enterprise board and about its urgent need for further capital resources?
The hon. Gentleman makes a very important point. It is essential that I should stress that local enterprise boards, as opposed to enterprise agencies, are companies limited by guarantee and not directly affected by the Local Government Bill currently before the House. I understand that West Yorkshire county council has asked for consent for funding of the enterprise board to a sum of £2 million in 1985–86, and that that is currently before my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. The hon. Gentleman may be aware that I am constantly trying to encourage the use of local enterprise agencies such as the Leeds business venture, with which I know he is very familiar, as a signposting service and as a one-stop shop. I think that that excellent enterprise agency is in a very strong position with regard to acting as a co-ordinator in getting small firms financed. That will speed matters up and, I hope, remove many of the obstacles and the confusion which the hon. Gentleman has identified in his question.