Headlines: April 8th, 1999

The new regional agencies have been told by Richard Caborn, Minister for the Regions and Regeneration, that their first task is to developing a new strategic vision for their region. Following discussions with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department for Education and Employment and wide public consultation the agencies are being urged to adopt an integrated and sustainable approach in developing their strategies.

Included in the issues which they are to address are how to improve business competitiveness and increasing productivity and how to tackle the underlying problems of unemployment, skills shortages, inequalities, social exclusion and physical decay.

The RDA strategies will provide focus and coherence to the work of their regional partners. The strategy development process will include regional dialogue to identify priorities for action and to encourage regional partners to buy in to and help to deliver the strategy.