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Regions White Paper

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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. [108564]

Defra seeks to reach as wide a range of applicants for its public bodies as possible. This includes advertising its public appointments vacancies in the national press and in trade or technical publications, if appropriate. Advertisements for regional bodies are also placed in the regional press. In addition the Department puts all public appointment vacancies on the Defra website at www.defra.qov.uk/corporate/appointments and on the Cabinet Office's new vacancies website at www.publicappts-vacs.gov.ukIn 2002, Defra staff took part in the 8 regional seminars organised by the Cabinet Office's Women and Equality Unit (now part of DTI). These events were aimed at encouraging more women from the regions, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds and disabled women, to participate in public appointments. Defra's stand exhibited the range of its public bodies and the variety and number of its public appointment vacancies which would arise in the next year.

All appointments to Defra's public bodies are made on merit. 138 appointments were made between 14 May 2002 and 31 March 2003. Those appointed live in the following Government Office regions:

Government office region

Number of appointments

Percentage

North West5

13.6

North East21.4
Yorkshire and the Humber96.5
East Midlands75.1
East of England2518.1
West Midlands75.1
South East4834.8
South West118
London85.8
Scotland118
Wales32.2
Others221.4

1 Percentage of all appointees

2 Outside UK