§ Mr. Caborn
Sport England has now begun the process of designating a further 18 Sport Action Zones. To ensure that the most needy areas of the country are supported in252W developing bids, regional development teams have been established in each region to oversee the submission of bids and to ensure that decision making is kept as close to local communities as possible. Each team will be taking a strategic view of its region's needs and will encourage and facilitate bids where realistic and discouraging those less so.
Explicit criteria against which bids will be assessed have been established that, among other things, will ensure that there will be at least one action zone in each region and that there will be zones of similar types to enable comparisons to be made. The factors which will be taken into account in designating the new zones will be the degree of deprivation and sporting need, the partnership arrangements and the presence of other complimentary initiatives in the area. Bidding for Action Zone designation is in two stages with the first stage due to be completed by 3 July and the second stage by 20 November leading to final decisions by Sport England by February 2003.