Regional Economic Development

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:12 am on 13th February 2001.

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Photo of Andrew George Andrew George Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 10:12 am, 13th February 2001

Interestingly, the Minister has pointed out that she meets the chairs of RDAs regularly, which contrasts with the idea that they might be business-led. They are clearly accountable to Government. I welcome the announcement of additional resources for RDAs, but does she accept that one of the problems--the theme of my opening remarks--is the level of control that the RDA has over local decision making, which in Cornwall is significant and can undermine initiative? After all, the RDA has taxpayers' money and can give advice. Other than its other strategic roles, which I outlined earlier, handing that down to local people is surely the most significant task. The RDA should be delivering that.