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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 19:42 GMT 20:42 UK
Minister wants to offer 'a voice'
Gillian Merron
Gillian Merron is one of seven regional ministers
Lincoln MP Gillian Merron said she hoped her new role as Minister for the East Midlands would give people a stronger voice in government.

Gordon Brown wants the position to increase the accountability for local and regional decision making.

A total of seven ministers will represent various regions in England.

Ms Merron said future economic growth in the region, housing, and the floods would be the top of her agenda in taking up her position.

She said: "The big priority is about recognising that the region has different needs as well as different strengths to other regions. And indeed within the East Midlands that varies still further.

"However the priority will be about improving the economic prosperity of the region in the long term."

"I think it's right and proper that we do have our own minister because that makes sure that there's accountability and openness within the very heart of government which will assist us as people who live in the East Midlands."

The other ministers include former Home Office and health minister Caroline Flint who will represent Yorkshire and the Humber, former agriculture minister Nick Brown, who will represent the North, and children's minister Beverley Hughes, who will cover the North West.

Liam Byrne will represent the West Midlands, the East of England will be represented by Barbara Follett and the new Olympics minister Tessa Jowell will cover London.




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