HC Deb 26 January 1999 vol 324 c172W
Ms Lawrence

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what strategic guidance and targets he has set for the enlarged Welsh Development Agency; and if he will make a statement. [68046]

Mr. Michael

I have written to the Chairman of the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) informing him of the revised strategic guidance for the WDA until March 2000 and consolidated targets for 1998–99 following the merger with the Development Board for Rural Wales and the Land Authority for Wales. Copies of that letter have been sent to all right hon. and hon. Members representing Welsh constituencies. Copies have also been placed in the Library of the House.

The strategic guidance is for eighteen months to March 2000; but it will be subject to review by the National Assembly, who will also set targets for financial year 2000–01 and beyond.

The consolidated targets for 1998–99 take account of the half year pre-merger targets set by my predecessor and performance against them. I have, however, asked the WDA fundamentally to review the nature of the targets for 1999–2000 and beyond. In doing this I want the Agency to set very clear objectives which focus its work and reflect the Government's priority of spreading prosperity to all parts of Wales.