HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc752-3W
David Davis

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the cost of conducting regional assembly referendums for(a) the north-east, (b) the north-west and (c) Yorkshire and the Humber; what factors he used to estimate the cost in each case; and if he will break down the cost in each case by factor. [123269]

Mr. Raynsford

The cost of a referendum will depend on the population of the region concerned, whether there is a traditional ballot vote or an all-postal vote, whether a poll is combined with, for example, local authority elections on the same day and decisions taken by the Electoral Commission on, for example, financial support for the designated "yes" and "no" campaigns. It is therefore too early to make a firm estimate of the costs.

Assuming a projected cost of £1 per elector, the total cost of a regional referendum would be around £2 million in the north-east, £5 million in the north-west and £4 million in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Mr. Hammond

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether additional funding will be given to regions which vote in favour of an elected regional assembly as compared to those regions which reject the option of an elected regional assembly. [124179]

Mr. Raynsford

Chapter 5 of the White Paper, "Your Region, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions" (Cm 5511), sets out the funding arrangements for elected assemblies.

Elected regional assemblies will take responsibilities for programmes that are currently carried out at regional level and their funds will be calculated on the same basis as other regions.

Government grant will meet part of the administration costs of elected assemblies and extra money will be available to reward elected assemblies which achieve or exceed targets agreed with central Government. This money will not be taken from regions without an elected assembly.