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Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what expenditure was incurred by regional development agencies in maintaining offices overseas in 2007-08; and what expenditure on such offices has been budgeted for in 2008-09. 
Mr. McFadden: The English Regional Development Agencies maintain representation overseas for the purpose of attracting inward investment, an important element of the Regional Economic Strategy for each region. The following table shows Regional Development Agencies' expenditure on overseas offices.
|RDA||Actual 2007-08||Budgeted for 2008-09|
|(1) EEDA no longer maintains overseas offices.|
(2) Following the London elections, the new Mayoral administration have committed to a review of the GLA Group's overseas offices. This review is currently ongoing and it is therefore important to note that these are only projected costs and could be subject to significant change.
(3) In October 2007 Yorkshire Forward implemented a new strategy regarding overseas investment and part of this included making provision to attract inward investors from Western Europe. Also, a Yorkshire Forward representative in Mumbai was appointed in December 2007.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 11 June 2008, Official Report, column 15WS, on regional development agencies: re-appointments, what the declared political activity of each of the 12 re-appointed board members is. 
|Re-appointed board members|
Advantage West Midlands: David Brown, John Crabtree
ONE NorthEast: Ian Brown, Kate Welch
NorthWest Regional Development Agency: Vanda Murray
South West of England Regional Development Agency: Kelvyn Derrick
Yorkshire Forward: Barry Dodd
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent research has been carried out by his Department into the procedures for small and medium enterprises to apply for regional development agency support. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Department has not recently carried out specific and detailed research into the procedures for small and medium enterprises to apply for regional development agencies support.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 25 June 2008, Official Report, column 329W, on regional planning and development: electronic government, how much funding each regional development agency has provided to the regional equality and diversity partnership in each region. 
|RDA||Funding in 2008-09 (£000)|
|(1) No plans to provide core funding for the respective regional equality and diversity partnerships in their regions in 2008-09.|
(2 )ONE to provide £80,000 to the North East Equality and Diversity Partnership.
(3 )No plans to provide core funding for the respective regional equality and diversity partnerships in their regions in 2008-09.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with reference to the Government's response to the Competition Commission's inquiry into grocery retailing of 29 July 2008, what definition of consumer interest his Department will use when determining whether to establish an independent Ombudsman to oversee the Groceries Supply Code of Practice. 
Mr. Thomas: The Competition Commission (CC) is seeking, under Section 159 of the Enterprise Act 2002, undertakings from the grocery retailers covered by the new groceries supply code of practice (GSCOP) to establish an ombudsman to monitor and enforce compliance with the GSCOP. If the CC is unsuccessful in establishing the Ombudsman within a reasonable period of time, the CC will formally ask BERR to take the necessary steps to set up an ombudsman. BERR would then carry out a full consultation before taking a decision on the way forward. At this stage BERR would not want to pre judge the range or type of issue that might be raised by stakeholders.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of small businesses owned by black and ethnic minority people. 
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much his Department spent on services in (a) Dartford Borough, (b) Kent Thameside, (c) the Thames Gateway, (d) Kent County Council area and (e) the South East region in each of the last five years, broken down by type of service. 
Mr. McFadden: Information on the Department's spending by Region and service is published in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08 Annex 8 which is lodged in the House. Expenditure is broken down by country and region for years 2002-03 to 2007-08 (Table 7), by Head of Population for years 2002-03 to 2007-08 (Table 8), and by identifiable expenditure on services by function, country and region for 2006-07.
Financial year 2004-05, £52,940.76 re-imbursement of salary costs, £2,519.38 conference room rental.
Financial year 2007-08, £1,100,190.98 waste electrical and electronic equipment grant.
The following table shows SEEDA's expenditure for Kent as a whole and also, separately, cross-regional funding. This is all spending and not just on 'services'. It is not possible to show how much of this expenditure came from the BERR grant-in-aid.
|Kent( 1)||Cross-regional expenditure( 1,) ( 2)||South East region (This figure is SEEDA's total expenditure( 3)||BERR grant-in-aid to SEEDA|
|(1) These figures for forecast expenditure have been taken from SEEDA's PMS system and are not audited and should be viewed as indicative only.|
(2). Cross Regional expenditure is expenditure by SEEDA that covers more than one county. This expenditure could include expenditure in Kent.
(3) The figure provided is SEEDA's annual total expenditure as laid down in SEEDA's Annual Report and Accounts.
(4) Please note that the figure for 2007-08 has been signed off by SEEDA's Finance department but they are awaiting final approval of the Annual Report and Accounts by the National Audit Office.
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