The Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) have become a dividing line between the political parties in the run up to the General Election. For those interested in urban policy what happens to the RDAs is of major interest.
The RDAs’ future has been brought into question for two main reasons – a groundswell of opinion in support of localism and the need for a spending squeeze as a result of the recession. The agencies lack democratic accountability and are seen as an area where potential savings could be made.
In the first of these RDA comment pieces, we set out the facts from the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) evaluation and called for a zero-based efficiency review and spatial assessment of the RDAs’ programmes. In this second comment piece, we outline what the three main political parties think of the agencies and where their visions lack clarity. A final comment piece will conclude with what we think should happen to the regional tier of government and the programmes the RDAs control.