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Written Statements

Friday 11 September 2015

Business, Innovation and Skills

Regional Growth Fund

The Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise (Anna Soubry): Today I am announcing the publication of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) 2014-15 annual monitoring report.

The progress made by the Regional Growth Fund in 2014-15 is set out in the publication of the annual monitoring report. This is the third RGF annual monitoring report. It covers rounds 1-5, including projects funded under the exceptional RGF, up to 31 March 2015. The report focuses on the delivery of RGF investment, jobs created and safeguarded by the RGF, and private sector investment leveraged.

Nine hundred and twenty four million pounds of RGF support reached companies in 2014-15. This brings the total funding paid by RGF to £1.53 billion, which has leveraged £4.63 billion in private sector investment. As of 31 March 2015, RGF beneficiaries had delivered 141,000 monitored jobs.

As well as reporting on the outcomes achieved against those operational projects and programmes, we are also publishing a list of 16 projects and programmes that have withdrawn since the last annual monitoring report.

Bidders may withdraw a project or programme for a number of reasons. Commonly these include global market conditions; realisation through the due diligence process that the project could not be supported (including on state aid grounds); and changes in senior management or parent company strategy.

A list of bids that withdrew during the 14-15 reporting year is below.

No.RoundName of beneficiary

1

eRGF

North Sails

2

2

Bentley Motors Ltd (R&D)

3

2

DI UK

4

2

Surgical Innovations Ltd

5

3

Sea Change Sussex

6

4

Avanti Communications Group plc

7

4

JDR Enterprises Limited

8

4

Marine Current Turbines Ltd

9

4

Sidcot Investments Limited

10

5

Absynth Biologics Ltd

11

5

Farnborough International Ltd

12

5

Gestamp Tallent Ltd

13

5

GT Energy UK Ltd

14

6

Arlington Wheels Limited

15

6

Conder Structures

16

6

S Cartwright & Sons (Coachbuilders) Limited

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I will be placing the report in the Libraries of the House. It will also be published online at: www.bis.gov.uk/rgf.

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Home Department

Emergency Services

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): The police, fire and rescue and NHS ambulance services play a vital role in serving and protecting our communities. The Government are committed to ensuring that they continue to deliver for the public and believe greater collaboration between the services is fundamental to this ambition.

We know that where the emergency services already collaborate, they can deliver efficiencies and service improvements. The Government have already invested over £70 million in local blue light collaboration projects. However, despite some good local examples, the overall picture on emergency services collaboration is patchy and we must do more to improve the position.

I am clear, as are the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Health, that the emergency services should be accountable to the communities they serve. In keeping with the Government’s broader approach to the devolution of powers to local people, we want to ensure that the public has a real say in the way that emergency services are delivered in their area. Directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners can provide this, with their clear local accountability and strong incentive to pursue ambitious reform to improve local services and deliver value for money in the interests of the people they serve.

We have today published a joint Home Office, Department for Communities and Local Government and Department for Health consultation paper to seek views on proposals to improve joint working between the emergency services and provide local accountability. The consultation paper proposes:

introducing a high level duty to collaborate on the three emergency services to improve efficiency and effectiveness;

enabling Police and Crime Commissioners to take over governance of their local fire and rescue authority, where a local case is made;

where a Police and Crime Commissioner takes on the responsibilities of a fire and rescue authority, enabling him or her to create a single employer for police and fire staff, facilitating the sharing of back office functions and streamlining management;enabling Police and Crime Commissioners to be represented on fire and rescue authorities, in areas where such authorities remain in place;

bringing fire and rescue services in London under the direct responsibility of the Mayor of London by abolishing the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority; and

encouraging local ambulance foundation trusts to consider their engagement with their local Police Crime and Commissioners and whether to have Police and Crime Commissioner representation on their council of governors.

The consultation ends on 23 October 2015. A copy of the consultation paper has been placed in the Library of the House.

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Our public services need to continue to adapt and innovate to carry on delivering the world-class services that communities deserve. We strongly believe that greater collaboration and closer working is the best way for the emergency services to achieve this.

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Justice and Home Affairs Pre-Council Statement

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): An extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council will be held on 14 September in Brussels. The presidency has convened this meeting in a response to a joint request I made with the French and German Interior Ministers when we met in Paris on 29 August. I will attend on behalf of the United Kingdom.

The meeting has been convened by the Luxembourg presidency of the Council of the European Union in response to the growing migration crisis currently facing the European Union. The meeting will cover the whole migration agenda and aims to assess the situation on the ground, the political actions under-way and to discuss the next steps in order to strengthen the European response.

The meeting will also hold an initial discussion on the European Commission’s most recent proposals to address the EU migration issue, including its proposals on the relocation of asylum seekers, set out by President Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union speech on 9 September.

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Justice

Youth Justice

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Michael Gove): In recent years we have seen a significant and welcome reduction in the number of young people

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entering the youth justice system. However, little progress has been made in reducing reoffending, with 67% of young people leaving custody reoffending within a year.

The time is right to examine our approach to tackling youth offending. We need to consider whether the current system, which was created in 2000, remains able to meet the challenges we face in 2015.

It is vital that we seize the opportunity to rehabilitate young people who have offended, to steer them away from a life of crime, and to set them on a more positive course which will benefit both them and society.

For this reason Charlie Taylor will lead a departmental review of the youth justice system. Charlie is the former Chief Executive of the National College of Teaching and Leadership, the former head teacher of an outstanding school for children with complex behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, and an expert in managing young people’s behaviour. His experience and expertise in working with children with severe behavioural difficulties give him a real understanding of the wider challenges in preventing youth offending, and I am confident he will bring a fresh perspective and energy to the task.

As part of the review Charlie will look at the evidence and current practice in preventing youth crime and rehabilitating young offenders; he will explore how the youth justice system can most effectively interact with wider services for children and young people; and he will consider whether the current arrangements are fit for purpose.

The review will report in the summer of next year.

The terms of reference for the review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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