Regional assemblies want local authority-led bodies to control spatial strategies

The vast majority of regional assemblies think housing numbers for their areas should be decided by a body led by local councils.

A poll of the assemblies conducted by Regenerate found every assembly that responded wanted local authorities to keep some say over regional spatial strategies which determine housing numbers.

The assemblies either wanted to retain the power themselves or hand it to another body also made up of representatives of local authorities. Regional assemblies will come to an end in 2010 and be replaced by regional leaders forums, which include representatives of local authorities, which will scrutinise the RDAs.

Many of the assemblies wanted the regional leaders forums to take on regional planning powers, perhaps working with representatives from RDAs.

The poll follows indications that the government is preparing to back track on plans to force regional assemblies to handover power for the regional

spatial strategies. The government had proposed to give responsibility for the strategies to regional development agencies.

However the move was unpopular with many of the regional assemblies, which consist of nominated representatives of local authorities plus business leaders, because RDAs are unelected.