Business Questions 23rd November 2011 – City Regions

Mark Drakeford: Sut bydd y Gweinidog yn asesu’r effaith y gallai datblygu ‘rhanbarthau dinas’ ei chael ar economi Cymru.
[How will the Minister assess the impact which the development of ‘city regions’ might have on the Welsh economy]

Edwina Hart: As Members are aware, I have appointed Dr Elizabeth Haywood as chair of the city region task and finish group, along with quite a distinguished team. It will consider the likely economic development benefits of city regions, and, on the basis of its recommendations, I will make decisions

Mark Drakeford: I know that the group has been widely welcomed because it brings together an excellent balance of existing expertise and a capacity to bring fresh thinking to the subject. However, in the end, the development of city regions will rely on action across ministerial portfolios; it also has an impact on potential future European funding. Can you give an assurance that, as Minister, you will retain the overall responsibility for bringing these strands together and for assessing the potential impact that city regions might have here in Wales?

Edwina Hart: It is quite clear that the principal responsibility will lie with me, but it is important to recognise the role that other portfolios will have in this discussion. It is also important for us to recognise, when we talk about city regions, that Cardiff, and Swansea and Newport even more so, are relatively small in the context of city regions more generally. Therefore, there are different types of considerations to be had in the discussion of city regions within the Welsh context, and within the context of European funding, than there might be in other regions of Europe