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3 July 2009 : Column 442W—continued


Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will publish his Department's replies to the European Communications Commissioner's letters of 30 June 2008, 6 October 2008 and January 2009 on Phorm. [277775]

Mr. McFadden: It is not the Government's policy to publish such correspondence. Publication of these letters has already been sought by members of the public under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Each request has been refused, and this position has not changed.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received on the compliance with UK and EU legislation of the use of Phorm's targeted online advertising technology by internet service providers. [280982]

Mr. McFadden: In April 2008, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) issued a statement on the use of Phorm under UK law:

A further Government statement was issued on 16 September 2008 (as follows).

Since the latter statement was released, neither this Department nor its predecessor Departments have received any further representations on the compliance of Phorm's technology.

The Government statement of September 2008 was as follows:

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Future developments involving Phorm will be closely scrutinised and monitored by the enforcement authorities.

Post Offices: Bank Services

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment his Department has made of the merits of the Post Bank initiative. [282620]

Mr. McFadden: Post Office Ltd. currently plays a vital role providing access to financial services through its national network of around 11,500 branches. It already offers an extensive range of financial services products including savings, insurance, mortgages, credit cards, and over 1,600 free-to-use cash machines providing further access to cash across the network.

We are keen for Post Office Ltd. to increase its financial services offering using its unrivalled network to put a wider range of services within reasonable reach of the whole UK population.

Post Offices: Closures

Tim Farron: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of community-run post offices which have closed in each year since 1997. [281890]

Mr. McFadden: This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have, therefore, asked Alan Cook, managing director of POL to reply directly to the hon. Member.

Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Regeneration: Bournemouth

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding South West Regional Development Agency has allocated to the regeneration of Shelley Manor in Bournemouth in each of the next three years; when such funds will be delivered to the regeneration project; and if he will make a statement. [281638]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 22 June 2009]: South West of England Regional Development Agency has no funding allocated for the regeneration of Shelley Manor, Bournemouth.

Regional Development Agencies

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what regional strategies each regional development agency is participating in. [277675]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 1 June 2009]: Each regional development agency (except the London Development Agency—see table) participates in two statutory over-arching strategies: the regional economic strategy (RES) and the regional spatial strategy. The
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aim of the RES is to improve economic performance and enhance regional competitiveness, addressing market failures that prevent sustainable economic development, regeneration and business growth. It is drawn up and kept under review by the RDA.

The RSS (which incorporates a regional transport strategy) provides a spatial framework to inform the preparation of land-use programmes. It takes into account provision for new housing; priorities for the environment; transport, infrastructure, economic development, agriculture, minerals extraction and waste treatment and disposal.

RDAs may also lead the development of non-statutory strategies with regional partners. Examples of these are listed in the table.

Following the Government’s 2007 Sub-National Review of Economic Development and Regeneration, RDAs are working with local authorities to prepare development of integrated regional strategies, replacing the current regional economic strategy and regional spatial strategy. The Local Democracy Economic Development and Construction Bill will enact this. The London Development Agency, working with the GLA, has its own arrangements in this matter.

The following table lists non-statutory strategies by region:

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RDA Regional strategies


Examples of external strategies that help deliver the RES are shown as follows. These are augmented by a series of tactical internal strategies and plans which relate to AWM’s main areas of responsibility.

Regional Marketing Strategic Framework

International Business Action Plan

Skills Action Plan

West Midlands Manufacturing Support Strategy

Regional Visitor Economy Strategy


Regional Business Support Strategy

Regional Women’s Enterprise Strategy

Regional Higher-level Skills Strategy

Regional Strategic Framework for Manufacturing 2007-12

Regional Adult Skills and Employment Strategy

Regional Social Strategy


Underpinning the RES and RSS are a number of sector based strategies and action plans that contain the activities required to implement the vision and aims of the two statutory strategies:

East Midlands Innovation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-11

East Midlands Business Support Strategy 2008-11

East Midlands Tourism Strategy 2003-10

Employment Skills and Productivity Partnership Action Plan

Regional Energy Strategy

Regional Transport Strategy


As part of London’s unique governance arrangements, the Mayor of London produces a number of statutory and non statutory strategies, including the London Plan, the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy. As a functional body of the Greater London Authority, the London Development Agency is involved to varying degrees in the development and delivery of the majority of these strategies.


NW Regional Housing Strategy


ONE and the region’s local authorities have developed action plans to take forward the delivery of the RES and the Regional Spatial Strategy. ONE has worked with partners to develop the following:

Regional Employment and Skills Strategy

Regional Enterprise Strategy

Regional Innovation Strategy

Regional International Trade Strategy

Regional Digital Strategy

Regional Housing Strategy

North East Environment Strategy

North East Tourism Strategy

Additionally, ONE has developed ‘mini’ strategies in relation to low carbon vehicles, off-shore wind power and printable plastic technologies in response to the Government’s New Industry, New Jobs agenda.


Partner organisation sector based strategies which SEEDA participates in include two South East NHS Trust strategies for action on health, to achieve a healthy work force best placed to deliver smart growth.


Regional Skills Strategy

Regional Enterprise Strategy

Regional Innovation Strategy

South West International Trade Strategy


In addition to delivering the Regional Economic Strategy and the Integrated Regional Strategy that will replace it, Yorkshire Forward works with partners to join up other strategies to the RES in the interests of integration and effectiveness. These are listed as follows:

Regional Innovation Strategy

Regional Visitor Economy Strategy

Regional Housing Strategy

Regional Cultural Strategy

Regional Major Events Strategy

Yorkshire Gold Strategy (relating to the 2012 Olympics)

Regional Forestry Strategy

Regional Development Agencies: Finance

Robert Neill: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent changes there have been to the investment budgets of each regional development agency. [279897]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The RDAs' investment budgets are their Capital budgets. Changes were made to the RDAs' Capital budgets to take account of the following Government initiatives:

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The following table shows how individual RDA Capital budgets, given to them as indicative allocation following the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 Settlement, were affected in 2009-10 by the above initiatives. All figures are in £ million.

Indicative Allocation
RDA Capital Budgets (£ million) Change (£ million)

Advantage West Midlands



East of England Development Agency



East Midlands Development Agency



London Development Agency



North West Development Agency



One North East



South East England Development Agency



South West Regional Development Agency



Yorkshire Forward



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