§ Ms Hewitt
I am pleased to announce that I intend to re-appoint the Chairs of the eight Regional Development Agencies in England (outside London) for varying terms. The new appointments, of periods of up to three years, will take effect from 14 December 2001.462W
I particularly want to thank Lord Thomas (Chair of the North West Development Agency) for agreeing to stay on until March next year, allowing more time for a successor to be found and for Lord Thomas to complete his six-month term as Chair of the RDA Chairs which begins in October. I would like to thank Lord Thomas for his dedication and commitment to the North West Region over many years and to the dynamic and effective leadership he has given to the RDA since its creation in 1999.
The London Development Agency Chair is an appointment of the Mayor of London and was made on 3 July 2000.
As far as the RDA Boards are concerned, I have decided to aim to increase business representation. I hope to be able to appoint or re-appoint members with current or recent business experience to at least half of the places on board.
I intend to honour the commitment given in Parliament during the passing of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 to have four board members with local authority experience and at least one with knowledge of rural issues. As before, the rest of the places will go to those with experience of relevance to the work of the RDAs, such as trade unions, further and higher education and the voluntary sector. I expect that most board members may have experience relevant to more than one area of the RDA's work and so hope the boards will reflect as wide a range of interests as before.