§ 10. Ann Winterton
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the funding of the North West Regional Assembly. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
The North West Regional Assembly is a voluntary body. The bulk of its funding comes from local authority subscriptions and other sources.
In 2003–04, the Assembly will receive up to £1,837,000 from central Government to support its work scrutinising the plans and activities of the Regional Development Agency, and advising the Government as the Regional Planning Body.
§ Joyce Quin
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his Department's plans for encouraging public debate on his proposals regarding elected regional Government in England. 
§ Mr. Leslie
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has received over 6,000 responses to the soundings exercise on whether to hold referendums to create Elected Regional Assemblies in the English regions.
As we near decisions on which regions will have referendums, we will continue to raise public awareness and encourage debate.