RDAs to be replaced

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North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it is to “abolish” the Regional Development Agencies.

The new coalition published its Programme for Government yesterday, and among its plans is to overhaul the current RDA system, replacing them with “Local Enterprise Partnerships”.

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Rogerson commented: “Already the strong Liberal Democrat presence in this new government is making a real difference.

“It will be our job as local constituency MPs to make a strong case for all of Cornwall’s objectives during the course of this Parliament. And we can already see that Ministers are listening.

“The abolition of Regional Development Agencies is particularly welcome, since this should mean that Cornwall’s EU funding can now be allocated more democratically.”

However, some confusion remains. RDAs that are “popular” in their region may be allowed to continue in a rebranded form.

The 40-page document states: “We will support the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships – joint local authority-business bodies brought forward by local authorities themselves to promote local economic development – to replace Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). These may take the form of the existing RDAs in areas where they are popular.”

The Government has been crystal clear, though, that Regional Spatial Strategies – one of the RDAs’ responsibilities – will be “rapidly abolished”, with decision-making powers on housing and planning returned to local authorities.

The future of Government Office South West is also now under review.