Eastern England Development Agency
Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the composition is of the board of the Eastern England Development Agency; and on what basis each member was appointed. 
Alan Johnson: The following members make up the board of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA):
Vincent Watts (Chair)
The board is currently carrying a vacancy.
Appointments to the boards of all the RDAs are made in accordance with the Code of Practice set out by the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments. This means they are made on merit, following fair and open competition.
The RDA boards are business-led and the aim is that at least half of all the board members should have current or recent business experience. Four board members have local authority backgrounds and the rest of the board is made up of people with experience in some area relevant to the work of the RDA. In effect this means trade unions, further and higher education and the voluntary and community sectors.
15 May 2002 : Column: 664W
Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the powers are of the Eastern England Development Agency. 
Alan Johnson: The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is one of the eight regional development agencies in England outside London established by the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. Each regional development agency (RDA) has five statutory purposes. They are:
to further the economic development and the regeneration of its area
to promote business efficiency, investment and competitiveness in its area
to promote employment in its area
to enhance the development and application of skills relevant to employment in its area
to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development in the United Kingdom where it is relevant to its area to do so.
Section 5 of the RDA Act empowers the RDAs to do anything they consider expedient for their purposes, or for purposes incidental thereto, subject to the following provision:
An RDA may only
(a) give financial assistance,
(b) dispose of land for less than the best consideration which can reasonably be obtained, or
(c) form, or acquire an interest in, a body corporate,
if the Secretary of State consents; and an RDA may only provide housing by acquiring existing housing accommodation and making it available on a temporary basis for purposes incidental to its purposes.