Cable admits scrapping AWM was ‘Maoist and chaotic’

BUSINESS secretary Vince Cable last night admitted that the Government’s abolition of RDAs such as Advantage West Midlands had been “Maoist and chaotic”.

But he told his audience at the annual dinner of the Lunar Society in Birmingham that he fervently believed the move was part of a localism agenda that would repair the damage done by years of too centralised control from London.

He said: “We’re investing heavily at a local and city level to reverse years of terrible over-centralisation in London that has led to a lack of independence for cities.

“Getting rid of the RDAs and bringing in LEPs (Local Enterprise Partnerships) has perhaps been a little Maoist and chaotic, but overall we’re giving back to councils and local authorities the powers and incentives they need to see a resurgence in civic pride.”

Dr Cable also said the Coalition Government recognised that manufacturing had a central role to play in the economic recovery.

He said: “This economy has become horribly unbalanced over the past 10 years in particular. We became over reliant on sectors such as the financial industry while allowing manufacturing to decline.”

Dr Cable said manufacturing would be at the heart of a forthcoming ‘Growth’ white paper which would aim to set out how the UK would get back to “sustainable and solid growth”.

He said: “We mustn’t lose  sight of the fact that the UK remains the sixth largest manufacturing economy in the world.

“In the white paper, manufacturing will be top of the list because we need to rediscover the industrial brilliance this country was built upon.”

Speaking just 24 hours after participating in David Cameron’s visit to China, Dr Cable said he hade been “staggered” by the regard the Chinese held for UK manufacturing.

“The Chinese have an admiration for UK manufacturing companies that we sadly seem to have lost in the UK,” he said.


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