HC Deb 13 July 1999 vol 335 c129W
29. Mr. Todd

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made in addressing rural needs through the work of regional development agencies. [89504]

Mr. Meale

The Regional Development Agencies will later this month publish for consultation their draft regional strategies; final versions will be submitted to Ministers in October. The Secretary of State has issued statutory guidance to Regional Development Agencies about the content and coverage of regional strategies which includes the requirement that strategies should take account of the particular features of the region's rural areas. Separate non-statutory guidance has also been issued which includes a section on rural policy designed to assist the RDAs in considering the rural dimension of their brief, in particular in preparing their strategies.