Regional Economic Development

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

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Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions) 10:12 am, 13th February 2001

I, and others, would be interested to know who replied to the survey, but my basic point relates to the number involved and how far their views are representative. I make no bones about the fact that those views, even from only 45 companies, are worrying. I am not putting them aside, but we simply do not know whether they represent the views of the wider business community. People who have had more contact with the RDA may have said something rather different--we just do not know. Certainly, those views are of concern. The RDA is rightly concerned and has more work to do in making links, building bridges and getting across more clearly the work that they are doing.

The hon. Member for St. Ives has written to me about his concerns that the RDA has not given a fair hearing to the Baseresult company's proposals to re-open tin mining at South Crofty. I will reply in detail to his letter, which I received at the end of last week. He may be aware that Baseresult has now accepted the RDA's offer to present its proposals to the Camborne, Poole and Redruth partnership board, which also includes the local authorities and the Prince's Foundation. The partnership is working to plan strategically the future regeneration of that area, which is the RDA's first priority area in Cornwall. So there is dialogue about that.