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Training And Enterprise Councils

Volume 264: debated on Friday 20 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairmen of the North East Wales and TARGED training and enterprise councils concerning merger proposals; and if he will make a statement. [38420]

None, although my officials are being kept informed by both of the prospective merger partners about the progress of their discussions. These discussions are still at an early stage and it would therefore be inappropriate for me to make any comment at this time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement concerning the principles by which the present geographical areas of the training and enterprise councils may be varied by way of (a) merger, (b) break-up and (c) total redrawing of boundaries. [38419]

Under the terms of the operating agreement between the Welsh Office and each of the TECs in Wales, I recognise the TEC as the body able to perform the functions of a training and enterprise council for the operational area set out in the TEC's corporate plan. Any changes to the operational area brought about by boundary adjustment or merger can be recognised on annual renewal of the agreement.Earlier this year, TECs were invited to review their operational areas, taking into account the boundaries of the new unitary authorities. As a consequence, it is expected that some adjustments to TEC operational areas will be proposed. I understand that discussions between the TECs—and with other local interests as appropriate—are proceeding.If these discussions give rise to proposals to the adjustment of TEC operational areas, the Department is able to give effect to such adjustments via the recognition provision in the operating agreement.