Friday, 18 June 2010

RDA rushes to bolt stable door after Vince Cable rode out of town

Oh dear. The South West Regional Development Agency spin machine has gone into overdrive – though possibly a bit late.

As we report in the WMN, Business Secretary Vince Cable all but confirmed the RDA day’s are numbered, criticising them for blowing £50,000 on a staff jolly to Center Parcs and being too Bristol-focused.

Plans are already with Cable to create a Local Enterprise Partnership covering Cornwall, Devon and possibly parts of Somerset.

As one source told me: “The sands of time are running out for the RDA. Suddenly everyone has got the message they are likely to be history pretty quickly.”

After getting an earful from the RDA this morning for our coverage – apparently it didn’t give enough credit for what they had done in Cornwall, though they don’t dispute their days are numbered – a remarkable piece of spin pinged into my inbox.

From an email address called “newsflash” it announces:

RDAs: “One of the most efficient of all Government departments and agencies…” and “Focused on getting the economy moving again”

Government analysis shows that England’s RDAs are among the most efficient of all departments and agencies, and also confirms economic benefits arising from RDA work.
And so it goes on for 1,400 words.

This analysis has been around for sometime, and still the coalition is committed to getting rid of them.

I was told that the argument in today’s paper needed more balance, though it seems the argument is probably over.

Though the RDA isn’t going down without a fight, it does all seem like locking the stable door long after the horse has bolted.

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