Cuts Watch #266: RDAs and EU funding
Local Government Chronicle reports (paywall) that the abolition of the Regional Development Agencies could lead to the loss of money from the European Regional Development Fund that had already been allotted to the United Kingdom. LGC has spoken to European Commission officials, who warn that the abolition of the RDAs and the loss of their staff who dealt with the ERDF could mean that the UK fails to meet cut-off points for claiming the money. Failing to meet the deadlines would mean that the lost funds would be deducted from future UK contributions to the European Union – a roundabout subsidy of Whitehall by the regions. This news comes on top of the realisation that abolition of the RDAs – which was announced without a prior analysis of its likely impact – could cost as much as £1.5 bn. The local authorities hurrying to establish the Local Enterprise Partnerships that are most likely to benefit their communities are likely to find that the abolition of RDAs has left the LEPs with less cash than they had hoped.