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Paper 5 - 18 July 1997 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Friday 18 July 1997

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES

Paper from the Policy Officer

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That a small panel including the Chairman and Vice Chairman be asked to finalise the Associationís response to the Government consultation on Regional Development Agencies.

2. That the lead taken by the South East Regional Forum in developing a coordinated local authority response in the south-east be welcomed.

Summary

1. The Government has issued a consultation paper on its proposals for regional development agencies (RDAs). RDAs will be established for each Government Office Region and will be responsible in the regional context for:

* economic development
* inward investment
* small business support.

The Proposals

2.The proposals for RDAs are set out in Appendix 1.

The Consultative Process

3. The Minister for the Regions, Richard Caborn MP, has discussed these proposals with key interests and this Association was represented by the Vice Chairman, Steve Cowley. Government Office for the South East (GOSE) will be holding an additional consultation on the proposals on 21 July and this Association, plus constituent authorities, will be represented. A formal response is required by 5 September.

Relationship with S.E.R.F.

4. The Minister made it clear in presenting the proposals for RDAs, that the RDA would be one step towards a wider regional focus for representative government. In this context the South East Regional Forum (S.E.R.F.) can be seen as the nucleus of a regional chamber to speak for and represent the South East.

Boundaries

5. The Government wants to make progress and avoid discussion and debate around the complex boundary issue. The Government will be using existing Government Office boundaries. These boundaries are the ("non-negotiable") reality for the present. The GOSE boundary includes nine counties to the south and west of London.

Proposed way forward

6.The Government has thrown down the gauntlet and local authorities must try to speak as far as possible with one voice to influence the debate. S.E.R.F. has drawn up an outline response, given at Appendix 2. It is suggested that members consider and comment upon Appendix 2, and appoint a small panel to prepare this Associationís response.

NICK GOULDER
Policy Officer

Annexes available on request

Last update: 04/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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