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Economy (North-east)

Volume 551: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2012

6. What terms of reference he has given to the commission of priorities for the economy of the north-east. (122135)

The terms of reference for a strategic, constructively critical review of the economy in the north-east have rightly been set by the north-east local enterprise partnership itself, not by Government. The partnership has commissioned a high-profile team of leaders from UK finance, industry, public and civil society to produce this review, and I believe it will be an excellent means of helping to drive growth in the north-east. I look forward, as I believe my right hon. Friend does too, to receiving the report early next year.

Is my right hon. Friend confident that this group, which has an important and valuable job to do, can take fully into account those things that matter to the economy of Northumberland, in particular the dualling of the A1 and the provision of broadband in rural areas?

Absolutely. I can assure my right hon. Friend on that because the group, as he knows, is independently constituted and can address itself to the concerns surrounding broadband infrastructure and road transport, which I know are deeply felt and on which he has long campaigned in the north-east.