HC Deb 29 November 2001 vol 375 c1042W
34. Mr. Dhanda

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she will take to enhance the role of the regional development agencies. [16507]

Alan Johnson

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is continuing the process of enhancement of the RDAs started last year with the announcement of additional funding, more spending flexibility and a stronger economic focus. Implementation culminates on 1 April 2002 when the RDAs' existing programmes are brought together into a single, broader and more flexible programme managed through testing outcome and output targets. She also announced on 22 November 2001,Official Report, column 396W, a series of changes to the structure and operation of her Department. One change will be the transfer of responsibility for some Regional Selective Assistance grants from Regional Government Offices to the RDAs.

Mr. Kevan Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what changes in board membership there have been in each of the regional development agencies in the last 12 months. [18371]

Alan Johnson

[holding answer 27 November 2001]: In the 12 months to 26 November, there have been four resignations: Mike Bird resigned from the board of Advantage West Midlands and Sal Brinton, Chris Mole and Peter Dawe resigned from the board of the East of England Development Agency.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 24 October 2001, Official Report, column 250W which announced re-appointments to the boards.

I am currently consulting on the new appointments to the eight English Regional Development Agencies outside London, as required by the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. An announcement on the outcome of the appointments process will be made in due course.

Appointments to the London Development Agency are the responsibility of the Mayor of London.