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ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES
30 January 1998
THE RDA BILL AND APPOINTMENT OF ELECTED MEMBERS TO THE BOARD OF THE RDA FOR THE SOUTH EAST REGION
Report by the Policy Officer
(1) That the Associationís letter to MPs concerning the RDA Bill be noted;
(2) That the role taken by the South East Regional Forum in co-ordinating nominations to the Board of the RDA for the South East Region be welcomed; and
(3) That members consider whether the Association should support any particular nominations to the RDA Board.
THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES (RDA) BILL
1. The RDA Bill received its second reading on 14 January. The Associationís RDA Panel (which consists of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Councillor Palmer and Mr Gurney) met in December to consider the legislation and the white paper. The Panel was concerned that the Bill did not appear to provide for a strong executive RDA. A letter to Hampshire MPs outlined the Panelís concerns (Annex 1). Subsequently the House of Commons Select Committee on the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs has recommended that the RDAs should be strengthened. The Select Committee argues that the RDAs should be responsible for training budgets and business support. The Committee also argues that RDAs should be more answerable to regional chambers.
2. The Government Office for the South East (GOSE) has asked the South East Regional Forum (SERF) to prepare proposals for a regional chamber to monitor the RDA. The SERF Executive Committee will be considering proposals for a regional chamber on 11 February. This Association will want to comment on the proposals and it is expected to be a matter for the next meeting (on 27 March). If necessary the Associationís RDA Panel can meet again to discuss the matter.
APPOINTMENT OF ELECTED MEMBERS TO THE RDA
3. The Government is currently advertising for nominations to the South East RDA. SERF has been asked to co-ordinate local authority nominations and has written to all authorities accordingly. Nominations will be decided at the SERF conference on the morning of 11 February. The LGA has strongly advised all authorities that nominations should be pursued through regional structures such as SERF. The LGA Guidance Note is appended (Annex 2).
4. The Secretary of State will make the appointments, taking into account:
* the nominations
* CVs of those nominated
* representations concerning those nominated.
It is open to this Association to make representations to the Secretary of State on behalf of those nominated. It is recommended that the Association should consider support for nominations to the RDA.
Annexes available on request
|Author:||Nick Goulder, Policy Manager|
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