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Devolution and Growth Across Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:47 pm on 3rd June 2015.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 1:47 pm, 3rd June 2015

Without wanting to fuel the dispute, I would say that the important thing is that it does not get that far. It is important that all the parties manage to find a resolution to the dispute. I know that the talks are ongoing today.

I have talked a lot about growth, but before I conclude, I want to turn to the specific growth measures in the Queen’s Speech. I sincerely hope that this Government have more success than the last one in the delivery of their policies on regional growth. In the last Parliament, having hastily and mistakenly abolished the regional development agencies that we established, the Government asked local enterprise partnerships to do basically the same things as the regional development agencies, but without the powers or the resources. Local enterprise partnerships have had mixed success. We want this Government to resource them properly and give them the support that they need to do the job that is being asked of them.

The last Government’s flagship regional growth fund was mired in chaos and delay from the start. Eventually, it managed to get moneys to successful bidders, although I suspect that a substantial amount is still gathering dust in Treasury coffers. We wait to see what further measures there will be in that respect in the Budget.