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ENGLISH COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS RESURRECTED

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Margaret Beckett, the leader of the house of commons, has confirmed the government's intention to resurrect a commi...
Margaret Beckett, the leader of the house of commons, has confirmed the government's intention to resurrect a committee of the English regions, which last met in the 1970s.

The Herald (p6) reports that Mrs Beckett denied the move was in any way a first step towards an English parliament.

Liverpool MP Louise Ellman, who has called for directly elected regional assemblies in England, welcomed the move but said it stopped far short of what she would like.

'I think it will be an important move towards regional development in England,' she said. 'It is important to recognise regional dimensions and have greater accountability within the system.'

Mrs Beckett said the committee, to which all MPs representing English constituencies would automatically belong, could be up and running by 1 April to coincide with the establishment of regional development agencies. It is also a possibility that the agencies may be accountable to the committee.
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