§ Andrew George
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what progress he has made in(a) reducing the number of area-based initiatives, (b) reducing the need for repetitive strategies of area-based initiatives, (c) reducing the administrative burden of area-based initiatives and (d) improving the ease of access by (i) target groups, (ii) community organisations, (iii) business organisations and (iv) local authority organisations to area-based initiatives in each Government Department which has such initiatives; 
(2) what steps his Department has taken to (a) reduce, (b) amalgamate and (c) devolve responsibility for area-based initiatives since the publication of the Regional Co-ordination Unit's report on area-based initiatives in October 2002. 
§ Yvette Cooper
The Regional Co-ordination Unit (RCU) led a review of area-based initiatives (ABIs) in 2001 which included the commitment to significantly reduce the number of separate funding streams without reducing the total amount of funding. The RCU published a report in July 2003, outlining plans to reduce ABIs by almost 50 per cent. Copies of that 2003 report are available in the Library of the House.
The RCU also operates a Gateway for assessing new and developing area-based initiatives to ensure that initiatives are carefully designed to achieve their goals while taking opportunities to minimise bureaucracy, and make links to other initiatives.