HC Deb 20 May 2004 vol 421 cc1157-8W
Mr. Jenkin

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which functions and responsibilities would be transferred from his Department to elected regional assemblies where they are established. [172755]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

The aim of elected assemblies is to ensure that regional functions are carried out effectively and better reflect the needs of the religion. Assemblies will also play an important role in supporting delivery of the Department's skills agenda, specifically in three key areas: (i) the assembly will appoint two members to the Boards of each local Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in its region, one of whom will have a business background, and will be consulted on other appointments; (ii) the national LSC will be under a statutory duty to consult assemblies on its guidance to the local LSC; and (iii) local LSCs will be obliged to have regard to the strategies of the ERA; and will be under a statutory duty to consult the assembly on their plans for the local area, in the same way that RDAs are consulted now (a statutory requirement under the Learning and Skills Act 2000).