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Regions White Paper

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made by the Department towards the aim in the White Paper, "Your Region, Your Choice", of encouraging applicants to public bodies from all parts of England; and what change there has been in the geographical diversity of appointees to NDPBs and other public bodies sponsored by the Department since the publication of the White Paper. [108561]

All opportunities for appointments to NDPBs and public bodies sponsored by my Department are advertised nationally through the press and through the Department's website. When appropriate, this may be supplemented by more targeted publicity. For example, ministerial chair appointments on the eight regional Rail Passenger Committees (NDPBs) may be advertised locally as well as nationally depending on circumstances.All appointments are made on merit in accordance with the Commission's Public Appointments' Code of Practice. My Department does not monitor the geographical diversity of public appointments. Between 14 May 2002 and 31 March 2003, 16 appointments and re-appointments were made.My Department, as the then DTLR, took part in all the regional seminars for women held during 2002 by the Women and Equality Unit.