Examination of Witnesses (Questions 80-83)|
TUESDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2002
80. The Commission has basically said no, though,
has it not, so is it not better then to turn to the European approach?
(Ms Havers) Not necessarily. I think that the Commission
might have said no on perhaps works in mainland Europe. What works
in France and Italy quite possibly will not work in Wolverhampton
or Milton Keynes.
81. Why not?
(Ms Havers) Because, as I mentioned before, I think
the structure and the tradition is different.
82. It is a matter of tradition?
(Ms Havers) Not just that, but I think there are more
resources in Europe for the public sector to become involved.
I do not think the public sector, in my view, is equipped to become
involved in really quite complex physical regeneration in inner
cities in the UK. I do not think the land ownership and the funding
structures lend themselves to that.
83. Do you want to add anything, Mr Chetwyn?
(Mr Chetwyn) Yes, on that point. The THI area includes
a number of different companies and organisations, and the land
ownership is quite complex. To do that it would mean compulsory
purchasing or purchasing through agreement on sites from the companies
and again them losing control, to other issues of who would fund
that, how would the acquisitions be funded. Obviously if you are
looking at that level of acquisition it becomes horrendously complicated
in terms of administration and legal work issues. Also the companies
have ideas as to what they want to do. They are developing their
own projects. They know where their markets lie. I feel that it
is really a matter of public/private partnership. It is that which
the state aid issue is preventing. Generally on that point, the
development industry in Britain is much more privately based than
in certain other countries. I think there is no doubt really that
the current situation on state aid places us at a competitive
Chairman: On that note, can I thank you very
much for your evidence.