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Paper 7 - 26 September 1997 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT AUTHORITIES

26 September 1997

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR THE SOUTH EAST

Paper by the Policy Officer

RECOMMENDATION

That the Panel appointed to consider the joint response to the Government consultation on Regional Development Agencies continues to meet as necessary to consider the proposals for a South East Regional Development Agency as they develop.

SUMMARY

The Association at its last meeting welcomed the initiative by the South East Regional Forum (SERF) to prepare a joint response to the Government consultation on Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). The Association also appointed a panel consisting of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Councillor Brian Palmer of Test Valley Borough Council and the Chief Executive of Portsmouth City Council. The Panel was asked to consider a detailed response from the Association to the Government Office for the South East (GOSE). This paper gives details of the SERF response and the Government Office Summary of Responses. It highlights some particular points which were raised by the Panel and which will be followed up in future.

THE SERF RESPONSE

1. The response (Annex 1) acknowledges that member authorities have made their own submissions, and this Associationís member authorities have contributed to the debate.

2.. The Panel commented in detail on the first draft response prepared by SERF. In particular the Panel highlighted the question of accountability (paragraphs 8 to 12) and wrote in the role of the RDA in relation to European funds (part of paragraph 25). The Panel considered other points which will be followed up as the discussions with GOSE over the precise nature of the South East Regional Development Agency becomes clearer. In particular the Panel considered:-

* The role of the Rural Development Commission in relation to the RDA

* The need for careful handling of the changeover from the South East Regional Investment Office to the RDA

* The suggestion that SERPLAN might be enlarged to cover the Eastern Region

* The need for the RDA to have an input to higher education funding in addition to the Further Education Funding Council.

3. As a result of this work, the Chair of the Association wrote formally to the Government to support the SERF response.

THE GOSE SUMMARY OF CONSULTATIONS

4. Annex 2 gives the report from GOSE on the outcome of consultation with regional partners.

FUTURE CONSULTATIONS

5. At this stage, the Government is framing the legislation for RDAs. Further detailed consultation is expected on the way the RDA for the South East will work and it is recommended that the Panel appointed remains in place to consider future consultations.

NICK GOULDER
Policy Officer

Copies of Annexes available on request

Last update: 05/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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