To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what response his Department has given to the European Commission's recent request for details of the additional policy instruments and financial support to be made available to local authorities to ensure that the RECHAR allocation can be fully utilised.
No such request has been received.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last met representatives of local authorities to discuss progress with RECHAR; and if he will make a statement.
Officials of my own and other Departments have been in close touch with local authorities and other local interests in the preparation first of the United Kingdom's list of proposed areas to be included in RECHAR and now of the operational programmes for the areas selected by the European Commission. During the course of my regional visits I have also met local authority representatives and RECHAR has been one of several issues raised by them. I have made representations to the European Commission about areas it has not selected and will do so in regard to programmes as may be necessary.