Evennett calls for better value for money from public bodies

David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, raised concerns about wasteful and inappropriate spending by public bodies during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons yesterday. The text of his question, and the Prime Minister’s response, is given below.

Q4. [2460] Mr David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford) (Con):
Labour Members might revere regional development agencies, but is my right hon. Friend aware of the considerable amount of money wasted by some RDAs, especially on unnecessary expenditure on entertainment? Will he confirm that, to get better value for taxpayers’ money, he will take action on RDAs?

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is right, and I know that a lot of argument and discussion is going on about regional development agencies. The figures about how much money has been wasted, however, should be more widely shared. The East Midlands Development Agency paid more than £300,000 for offices in north America. The Northwest Development Agency shared an office in Newport Beach. One NorthEast spent money on offices in China, Japan, Korea and Australia. The chairman of the South East England Development Agency spent £51,000 on taxis and executive cars in one year alone. We need proper control of costs and spending—there has not been any for the past 13 years, and there sure is going to be under this Government.