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Regional Government

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 14 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether successor bodies to regional assemblies will be designated as public authorities for the purposes of (a) equality and human rights and (b) freedom of information legislation. (308588)

Following the commencement of the Local Democracy Economic Development and Construction Act joint responsibility for the single regional strategy will rest with the “Responsible Regional Authorities” who are regional development agencies and Local Authority Leaders’ Boards. All authorities fulfilling a public function are bound by the Human Rights Act.

In relation to information regional development agencies are non-departmental public bodies and so the NDPB model publication scheme applies to them. The application of part 5A of the Local Government Act applies to leaders’ boards (but only in their non-joint working) as it applies to a principal council.

The Freedom of Information Act applies to RDAs. It is the Government’s intention that FOI legislation should apply to leaders’ boards and they will be added to the schedule 1 of the FOI Act at the next opportunity.