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Responding to Government’s Consultation on Regional Strategies and new Leaders’ Boards
We have responded to the ‘Policy Statement on Regional Strategies and Guidance on the establishment of Leaders’ Boards’ issued jointly by Communities and Local Government and Business, Innovation and Skills.
This follows our response, in June 2008, to the ‘Prosperous places: taking forward the review of sub national economic development and regeneration’ consultation, which outlined the Government’s initial proposals for revising regional decision making structures and strategies.
Much of our response to the latest consultation focuses on the overall need for the new structures and strategies to be rural proofed, in support of national government policy to mainstream rural delivery. We also draw attention to the briefing we are currently developing to help regions ensure the interests of rural communities are effectively recognised in future regional strategies.
Key items highlighted in our response include:
• regional strategies taking into account geographic diversity within their areas and fully reflecting the needs of rural communities and economies;
• those responsible for the new strategies establishing methods by which smaller and more rural areas, and those who represent them, can be heard within the revised decision making structures;
• those responsible for the new strategies consulting a broad range of stakeholders within their respective regions, including those who represent rural communities; and
• regional strategies being informed by a robust rural evidence base which recognises and acknowledges that different considerations need to be applied to different types of rural area.