§ Mr. Thurnham
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps are being taken to co-ordinate the Government's inner city policy more effectively.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The 16 Government task forces co-ordinate the programmes of all Government Departments in the small core districts of the cities they serve and initiate projects of their own on behalf of the whole Government.
City action teams pull together and focus the efforts and resources of the Departments of Trade and Industry, Environment and Employment over wider urban areas in Birmingham, Liverpool, London (Hackney, Islington and Lambeth), Manchester-Salford, and Newcastle-Gateshead and the county of Cleveland. Apart from improving the effectiveness of Government programmes, the teams have a major role in encouraging the involvement of companies in urban regeneration. In view of their success, the Government are setting up two new city action teams, to cover Nottingham, Leicester and Derby, and Leeds and Bradford. The three Departments concerned will be spending over £1 billion in the areas covered by the CATs in 1988–89.
I have also been asked by the Prime Minister to help her to co-ordinate the Government's policies on inner cities. As part of that task, I will launch on 13 April in Newcastle a series of Government working breakfasts with Ministers and senior industrialists and business men to promote more co-operation with the local leaders of business in urban regeneration. Other cities to be visited 12W will include Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and London and I intend each working meeting to lead to increased efforts in each city concerned.
The Government have also set up a central free telephone link (0800 181518) so that businesses can find out from a single contact point in our action for cities unit how they can play their part.