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Paper 11 - 26 March 1999 Meeting


26 March 1999


Report by Councillor Roger Price, Fareham Borough Council

A meeting of the Local Government Association's Economic Regeneration Committee was held in London on 13 January 1999. Items discussed included the following:

Regional Development Agencies

The Committee received an update on the progress of Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), including a copy of the LGA's response to the DETR guidance on RDA strategies. A presentation was also made by the Head of Regional Policy, North West Regional Chamber, on RDAs and Chamber Joint Working in the North West.

After discussion, the Committee agreed that the LGA's response to the DETR's Statutory Guidance should be strengthened to reflect the need to support the development of national tripartite arrangements. It was also agreed that concern should be expressed at the current lack of balanced representation on RDA Boards and that the Chair of the LGA Policy and Strategy Committee should be asked to raise this concern with the relevant Minister.

European Issues

The Committee received a report on the LGA's work on the Structural Funds, including the results of a meeting between the Deputy Prime Minister and the LGA held on 9 December. The Committee agreed to note the report and endorsed the need for local and regional authorities to be consulted on the preparation and implementation of the national employment action plans. It was also agreed to propose that a prize for partnership, as opposed to a prize for Mayor/Leader for Employment, be awarded to those localities/regions that best implement the employment guidelines.

Community Enterprise and Credit Unions

A report was received on the recent Association of British Credit Unions Ltd. (ABCUL) research project on credit unions and proposed steps to take this forward. It was noted that the main recommendations for local authorities arising from the project had been revealed at a one-day conference held on 8 December. The Committee agreed that further discussions should be held between ABCUL, the LGA and LGMB on local authority credit unions with a view to producing best practice guidance.

Survey of Activity

The Committee considered a report summarising the results of local authority economic development activity carried out on behalf of the LGA by Cambridge University. It was noted that 129 authorities had responded and that the main activities identified, ranked in terms of importance were bidding for funding; promoting inward investment; preparing serviced sites; developing and managing workspaces and nursery units; and publishing sites' and premises' directories.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is due to be held on 19 May 1999.

Fareham Borough Council

Last update: 10/10/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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