HC Deb 23 June 1999 vol 333 c413W
Mr. Hepburn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will designate the regional chamber for the North East Regional Development Agency. [88211]

Mr. Caborn

I am pleased to announce that we have today issued a direction to One North East designating the North East Regional Chamber as its regional chamber under the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998.

Section 8 of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 provides that if the Secretary of State is of the opinion that there is a body which is representative of those in the RDA's area with an interest in its work, and that body is suitable to be given the role of regional chamber for the RDA, he may designate it.

RDAs must take full account of regional interests. Regional chambers will provide a mechanism through which RDAs can take account of regional views and account for their activities. Ministers expect that each RDA will have regard to the chamber's view in preparing its strategy, consult the chamber on its corporate plan and give an account of its performance to the chamber.

We are currently considering applications for designation from bodies in other regions.

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