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Regional Planning and Development

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to her Department's consultation on the review of sub-national economic development and regeneration, what the role of district councils in the regional planning process is; and if she will make a statement. (231581)

The consultation on the review of sub national economic development and regeneration proposed that local authorities form a Leaders' Forum to work with the Regional Development Agency on regional strategy and that such a body should be representative for all local authorities in the respective region, including district councils. We intend to publish our response to that consultation shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her Department’s area-based initiatives are; and what budget has been established for each. (232680)

[holding answer 3 November 2008]: The Department’s area-based initiative programmes and their current budgets are set out in the following table.

These figures do not take account of the budgetary changes to be effected at the winter supplementary estimates which are due to be reported to the House and published by mid-November this year.

Programme

Budget at main estimates 2008-09 (£ million)

Area-based Grants

637.5

Market Renewal Pathfinders

381.0

Growth Areas

258.0

New Deal for Communities

245.6

Thames Gateway

177.0

Coalfields Regeneration Trusts

17.7

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projects her Department funds through (a) the Government Offices for the Regions and (b) regional development agencies; and what the budget for each project for 2008-09 is. (233330)

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is directly administered by the Government offices and has a budget of £10.3 million at the main estimate 2008-09. This figure does not take account of budgetary changes to be effected at the winter supplementary estimates which are due to be published later this month.

The ERDF budget is to cover possible insolvencies, irregularities and audit exposures in the 2000-06 programmes. Nothing has been written off to date.

For the regional development agencies, I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave her on 4 November 2008, Official Report, columns 345-46W.