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116/08

05 November 2008

New Council to fire up Regional Economies

The new Regional Economic Council met for the first time today. The meeting was chaired jointly by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.

The Prime Minister established the Regional Economic Council in October as part of a raft of measures designed to meet the challenge of an uncertain financial climate.

Every region in the UK is affected by what is happening to the global economy. The establishment of this Council will ensure that the issues and concerns raised in the regions, particularly those of small businesses, are heard and acted upon across government.

The Chancellor said:

“This new Council provides us with an opportunity to look at how we can all support measures to help people and businesses across the UK during these difficult economic times.
“We discussed how we can all work together to boost confidence and support economic growth at a regional level.”

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:

“We need all hands on deck to get through this difficult economic period and come out the other side in a position of strength. Input from the regions is crucial, so the Regional Economic Council has an extremely important role to play.

“This Council will be a stronger voice for the regions, ensuring that concerns about the economy from across the country are properly understood and responded to by the Government.

“Leading figures from the Government, the regions, business and unions, will work in partnership to deliver action at a regional level, to benefit our national economy.”

The Council will:

Notes for Editors

1.   The Regional Economic Council, set up by the Prime Minister, was announced on Friday 3 October as part of plans to establish a National Economic Council, see http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page17067

2.   The membership of the Regional Economic Council is as follows:

Chairs:

Members:

3.   The Regional Economic Council will meet quarterly, beginning on 5 November. Full Terms of Reference for the Council will be published after its first meeting.

4.   A separate Council of Regional Ministers is co- chaired by The Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Yvette Cooper, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. John Healey, Minister of State, CLG will be deputy chair and Pat McFadden, Minister of State, BERR will also have membership. The Council of Regional Ministers brings together the nine English regional ministers appointed by the Prime Minister together with Ministers representing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  It will feed into the work of the Government's new National Economic Council.

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