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26 November 2008 (PN 78)


The Business and Enterprise Committee announces that it will take evidence from Pat McFadden MP, Minister for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs, on the Government's revised sub-national review proposals which impact on regional development agencies (RDAs) and economic development policy. The meeting will be held on Monday 15 December 2008 at 2.30 pm at the Palace of Westminster.

The Committee took evidence from representatives from local authorities, business organisations and RDAs in October. Following the Government's revised proposals, the Committee is now seeking brief additional comments from stakeholders to inform Members ahead of the Minister's evidence. In particular, the Committee would welcome information on:

€ Sub-regional collaboration:

o Views on the creation of Economic Investment Boards (EIBs), especially how they will interact with other public sector bodies, the flexibility to propose their own functions and lack of a specific performance framework.

€ Regional strategy and reformed regional governance structures:

o The sharing of spatial planning responsibilities between RDAs and the Local Authority Leaders' Board, including the staff and financial resources to support the agreement of the regional strategy and whether this allays local authorities' concerns regarding the original proposal;

o Whether business and other stakeholders remained concerned that RDAs' focus on business and economic development might be diluted by their widened remit;

o The implications of the increased role for local authorities in terms of the economic planning aspect of the regional strategy;

o The flexibility given to Local Authority Leaders' Boards regarding their membership; and

o Whether the proposals allow for sufficient accountability and consultation.

€ Delegation of decision-making by RDAs

o Whether the proposals enable RDAs to take the more strategic programme management role expected.

€ Any other comments stakeholders feel are relevant.

Comments should be no more than two pages of A4 paper and e-mailed to by Friday 5 December 2008. Please note that comments will be treated as a public document, unless requested otherwise.


The Government launched its sub-national review in July 2007. The review made a number of proposals regarding the responsibility and delivery of economic development and regeneration policy. Following the consultation, the Government has published revised plans.

Further information on the Committee's inquiry can be found on its web pages at:

Further Information:

Committee membership is as follows:
Chairman: Peter Luff MP (Con) (Mid Worcestershire)
Mr Adrian Bailey (Lab) (West Bromwich West)
Roger Berry (Lab) (Kingswood)
Mr Brian Binley (Con) (Northampton South)
Mr Michael Clapham (Lab) (Barnsley West and Pen.)
Mr Lindsay Hoyle (Lab) (Chorley)
Miss Julie Kirkbride (Con) (Bromsgrove)
Anne Moffat (Lab) (East Lothian)
Mark Oaten (Lib Dem) (Winchester)
Mr Mike Weir (SNP) (Angus)
Mr Anthony Wright (Lab) (Great Yarmouth)

Media Enquiries: Laura Humble, Tel 0207 219 2003/ 07917 488 489, email:
Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 5777, email: