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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 October 2006, 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
East Midlands: Valuable quango..?
Allister Craddock
The Politics Show
East Midlands

Milan Radulovic and John Hess
Milan Radulovic gives little praise for EMDA

The East Midlands Politics Show asks if our region's development Agency, EMDA, is good value for the 164m it recieves from the Government?

According to EMDA's annual report, the agency has created or safeguarded 8,193 jobs.

But our political editor, John Hess, has been talking to local politicians and businessmen who are far from impressed.

It was the Labour Government who set up EMDA.

Yet the Labour leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, Cllr. Milan Radulovic, is scathing in his criticism.

He insists its administrative costs are too high, and that its decision making is not transparent.

And he claims EMDA members jetset around the world looking for inward investment, but end up having precious little to show for it.

Farmers give thumbs up

But there's some encouragement for EMDA from the National Farmers Union.

Simon Fisher, the union's senior food and farming adviser for the region, has welcomed the fact that the agency will soon get new powers from Defra, the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs.

This month, EMDA takes over the supervision of a number of grants from Defra.

And next year, Defra will give regional development agencies the job of overseeing and funding a new programme to support economic development in rural areas.

Mr Fisher says EMDA will surely make a better job of helping farmers than Defra.

But, he warns, it is essential that the people making the decisions have the relevant expertise.

EMDA's chief executive, Jeff Moore, will respond to the agency's critics when he joins John Hess in the studio.

Also on the Politics Show...

Adrian Reed and Robin Powell
The growing number of children is a growing concern for Adrian Reed

Robin Powell has a special report on how a Lincolnshire comprehensive school is coping with a big increase in the number of children from migrant families.

Robin spent a day at Haven High Technology College in Boston.

He talked to the Head, Adrian Reed, and a Portuguese teacher, helping migrant children learn English.

And we ask...

Is the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, about to ease the crisis at Nottingham's hospitals?

The trust for the Queen's Medical Centre and the City Hospital has been ordered to plug a 40m deficit by the spring.

But the unions warn it would be at the cost of more than four hundred nurses' jobs and ward closures.

Labour MPs have been lobbying Patricia Hewitt hard.

They want the trust to be given more time to balance its books. And it seems she may be having a change of heart.

Find out more when we speak to the MP for Sherwood, Paddy Tipping, on Sunday.

Join the Politics Show team on Sunday 15 October 2006 at 12:00 BST on BBC One.

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East Midlands
15 Jul 05 |  Politics Show

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