§ The Minister for Local and Regional Government (Mr. Nick Raynsford)
The Government intend to pass responsibility for housing market renewal pathfinders to elected regional assemblies, in those regions that vote for them. The first region to hold a referendum over an elected regional assembly will be the north-east and the referendum will be on 4 November 2004. Housing market renewal pathfinders are responsible for tackling low housing demand and we think that this responsibility would sit well with elected assemblies' strategic housing powers. My right hon. Friend Lord Rooker will be writing shortly to the Chairs of the housing market renewal pathfinders so that we can take into account their views.