Stephen Ladyman Press Release
South Thanet MP, Stephen Ladyman, has been elected as the first Chairman
of the new South East Region Select Committee of the House of Commons.
"Here in the South East there are key regional bodies that determine how
well our economy does and how well our public services work. For the
first time, these organisations which spend tens of millions of Pounds
of our money, will be scrutinised by the Commons" said Dr.Ladyman from
Westminster after his appointment.
"The South East England Development Agency prepares an economic strategy
for the region and spends millions on local projects. The Strategic
Health Authority is responsible for the development of the health
service here in the South East. We have a South East Minister and a
Government Office of the South East. Until now these people and
organisations have not had to answer to the UK Parliament but now they
According to Dr.Ladyman the new committee will work in a unique way.
"Unlike other select committees we want to get out and about do our work
close to the people. We intend to collect evidence in public in places
away from Westminster. Our first investigation will be into the work of
SEEDA and the economic strategy for the South East and we will have our
evidence collecting session in Aylsham near Dover, on the site of the
former Kent coalfields!"
At present the new regional select committees are being boycotted by the
Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
"The Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish have had select committees looking
at affairs in their regions for decades and still have them despite
devolved government being in place. Why shouldn't MPs from England be
able to scrutinise what happens in our own areas too?"
"The Tories and the Lib Dems were wrong to withdraw from these
committees because they couldn't get their own way over membership.
Their attitude is childish and I hope they will put it behind them and
agree to join our work. They are being irresponsible allowing things
that affect their constituents to escape parliamentary scrutiny."
Dr.Ladyman is also Vice Chair of the Labour Party with responsibility
for the South East. "My work as Vice Chair is a Labour Party campaigning
role. My work as Chair of the select committee will be a Parliamentary
role. I hope I can use both to bring real focus on the needs of the
Note to editors:
The members of the South east Regional Select Committee are Stephen
Ladyman MP, David Lepper MP, Andrew Smith MP, Gwyn Prosser MP and Celia
An invitation to submit evidence to the Committee's first inquiry and
the date of the evidence taking committee in Aylsham will be announced
Dr Stephen Ladyman
MP for South Thanet
House of Commons
Tel: 01843 852696
Fax: 01843 852689