§ 9. Mr. Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)
If he will make a statement on his policy on assessing local readiness for referendums on regional elected assemblies. 
§ The Minister for Local Government and the Regions (Mr. Nick Raynsford)
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Wyre (Mr. Dawson) only moments ago.
§ Mr. Turner
I thank the Minister for his right hon. Friend's answer. Does the Minister think that my constituents have more in common with Christchurch and Corfe Castle, or with Milton Keynes and Margate? If he is not sure, would he like to come to my constituency and find out?
§ Mr. Raynsford
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will have a view on that, but ultimately the matter is for his constituents, and if they choose to express their view in a referendum they will be able to do so.
§ Matthew Green (Ludlow)
Does the Minister accept that if we are looking to win referendums, we need to hold them in areas where they are most likely to be won? Why does he accept the boundaries put in place by the Conservatives, instead of setting up a review on which areas want to be in which regions?
§ Mr. Raynsford
As the hon. Gentleman knows well, boundary issues can be extremely time consuming, and can divert attention from priorities. Our view is that it is better to work with the existing building blocks of existing regions to ensure that progress can be made quickly—which is, I understand, his party's policy.