Spelman drops Conservative pledges to abolish RDAs

So, what is the Conservative Party policy on Regional Development Agencies (RDAs)?

Well, here is Iain Dale on the matter in February:

Cameron Reinforces Pledge to Abolish RDA’s & Assemblies
David Cameron has given an interview to BBC South East, to be shown at lunchtime tomorrow in which he pledges to abolish Regional Development Agencies. Good. There had been some speculation that the Tories were wavering on that commitment.

Or here is what Public Servant magazine reported last year of both Cameron and Eric Pickles:

Tory leader David Cameron has confirmed what Public Servant magazine reported in its April issue, that the Conservatives would abolish regional development agencies (RDAs)…

In our story ‘No future for RDAs under Tories’, Dean Carroll quoted Pickles as saying: “RDAs are unaccountable and unelected and they will be abolished.

And then there’s John Redwood:

Abolish the RDAs

So that’s all clear then? But wait, what’s this in Shadow Local Government Secretary Caroline Spelman’s speech last month?

Regional Development Agencies will therefore evolve into Local Enterprise Partnerships.

That’d not be axing them but renaming them. Sir Humphrey would be proud. And rather chuffed to also know that, as Paul Staines has pointed out, there are 18 new quangos promised by the Conservatives.

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  • So much for ‘bonfire of the Quangos’ then.

  • Most of the powers of RDAs will be pushed down to Councils and if they choose to aglomerate them in Local Enterprise Partnerships, or even to leave the RDAs, they will be allowed to do so. Regional Assemblies all go, Regional Spatial Strategies go.

    This is logical as Regeneration is now much less regional and much more local. Only Lbaour could respond to that with bigger regional and national quangoes like RDAs and the HCA.

  • Maybe because the tories occasionally consult on policies and listen to criticism unlike some Lib Dems who seem to think they can do what they want without consulting anyone?? Mansion Tax? Savage Cuts?

    Here’s part of the reason the tories are (understandably) backtracking – they’re policies cooked up in some corner of Westminster have hit up against the real world, a problem the Lib Dems are in no danger of having to face:

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