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EU Grants and Loans

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Minister on monies from Objective 1 funds returned to the Welsh Assembly Government by Welsh local authorities; and what consideration he has given to adding the returned funds to the Convergence Fund. (147944)

I have regular meetings with the First Minister on a range of issues including Objective 1.

I know that the Welsh Assembly Government are committed to ensuring the effective delivery of the Objective 1 Programme for West Wales and the Valleys. Where underspends are identified, the Wales European Funding Office recycles these within the programme. However, European Commission rules would not allow any surplus funds from one round of programme to be transferred to another.

Furthermore, I am advised that the Welsh Assembly Government have achieved all annual spend (i.e. N+2) targets for the Objective 1 programme to date, and are on track to achieve the N+2 target for 2007.