Advantage West Midlands, the unelected Regional Devleopment Agency, has some targets set by what is now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
The half-year results for April-September 2007 have now been published and on balance it’s looking … well, a bit poor really.
The first target is job creation – how many jobs have AWM created? Their target is to create a minimum of 13,347 jobs and a maximum of 17,653. So far they reckon they’ve managed 6,211 which is over 900 short if they continue at the current rate.
That’s 0 out of 1 so far, not a good start.
The second target is assisting people into employment – how many people have AWM helped to get a job? Their target is to help a minimum of 4,306 people get a job and a maximum of 5,695. They reckon they’ve helped 3,856 so far this year which is well above the maximum target (is it a good thing to exceed a maximum target?).
That’s 1 out of 2 (assuming it’s ok to exceed a maximum target), getting better.
The third target is business creation – how many businesses have AWM helped to create that have shown growth and are stil in business 12 months on? Presumably this is last years start-ups because these are half year figures, or perhaps it’s an estimate … who knows? It’s not really relevant anyway because their minimum target is 1,361, their maximum target is 1,799 and they’ve managed 70 (no, I didn’t miss a zero off the end).
1 out of 3 … not good.
Target number four is business support – how many businesses did AWM help to improve their performance? They have a minimum target of 10,333 and a maximum target of 13,667. They have achieved 3,626 so far which leaves them almost 3,100 short of their minimum target at the current rate.
Oh dear, only 1 out of 4 so far.
Their fifth target is split into two – how much public and private infrastructure investment has been used and how much brownfield land has been redeveloped. They have minimum and maximum targets of £172m & £228m for the former and 129 & 171 hectares for the latter. They have so far levered £52m of investment which is £68m short of their minimum target if they continue at the current rate and they have redeveloped 3 hectares of brownfield land which is 123 hectares (or over 95%) short of their minimum target if they continue at the current rate.
A rather disappointing 1 out of 5 targets hit.
Target number six is the number of people that AWM helped to develop skills. They have a minimum target of 18,083 and a maximum of 23,917. They have managed 9,313 so far which is 543 over their minimum target if they continue at the current rate.
So that’s 2 out of 6 targets they’ve been set by the British government that they’re on target to hit. At the current rate they will scrape through one minimum target and exceed one maximum target which, as previously mentioned, we can only assume is a good thing.
Remember, this is the Regional Development Agency that has a taxpayer-funded annual budget of £300m but which, it claims, controls over £1bn of public money in the West Midlands. Also remember that this is the Regional Development Agency that is to take over most of the West Midlands Regional Assembly’s powers, responsibilites and budget by 2010 when it is finally abolished.