MP Peter Luff has claimed Worcestershire is only getting "one-10th" of its entitlement from the regional development agency for the West Midlands.

The Conservative MP's claim is based on a Parliamentary written answer he received from DTI Minister Alan Johnson.

"Advantage West Midlands' spend in Worcestershire for the financial year 2001-02 is around £2.2m," he said.

"This amounts to around 1.3 per cent of its total budget for the period."

The Mid-Worcester-shire MP said the figures showed the county was receiving a bad deal - and that the "stinginess" must end.

"In round terms, Worcestershire's population is 10 per cent of the whole of the West Midlands area, with about half-a-million of five million residents," he said.

Lot more

"I'm not saying this means we should be getting exactly the same proportion of the agency's budget, but I'm saying we should be getting a lot more than we are.

"Worcestershire has real problems of deprivation and poverty, both in its towns and in its rural areas too."

Mr Luff, an opponent of RDAs, blamed the fact the organisation is remote from Worcestershire.

"It's always been the case that organisations based in Birmingham, but with responsibility for our county, have ignored us. Just look at the 30-year battle to get a new hospital in Worcester," he said.

"This shocking statistic - that we get only about one per cent of the budget of the Agency - is yet another argument for getting rid of RDAs urgently."