BEHIND the scenes, in India and Thailand, there seems to be progress in selling Redcar’s mothballed Corus plant.

This is good news.

Today Business Secretary Vince Cable returns to Redcar, having last visited the seat during the election. He told The Northern Echo then he had had his “ear very firmly bent” about the usefulness of regional development agencies (RDAs) One North East and Yorkshire Forward.

He acknowledged that their budgets would be cut, but he said: “We want to encourage them.”

Two months later, Mr Cable’s department is going to scrap them.

How can he explain this?

David Cameron wants to grow the private sector, and yet Mr Cable is dismantling the apparatus by which the Government helps the private sector to do just that.

Mr Cable is going to replace the RDAs with Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs).

We hope today he will explain what powers and what budgets these will have.

A LEP is proposed for the five unitary councils of the “Tees Valley”, but there are already whispers that the three councils of “Teesside” should go it alone. Can Mr Cable explain how his policy will help Darlington and Hartlepool if they are left LEPless.

In an inter-connected global economy, areas have to put aside petty local jealousies and band together – that’s why RDAs, although far from perfect, were useful.

We can’t live in isolation. The closure of Corus didn’t just affect Redcar – its domino effect travelled along the Tees Valley and beyond.

That’s why this area and all its political parties need to club together to push for the new generation of trains to be built at Hitachi’s preferred site in Newton Aycliffe.

Aycliffe might be in Durham, but the thousands of private sector supply chain jobs would sweep along the Tees Valley – just as Nissan benefits an area far greater than Sunderland.

Even if Mr Cable can’t explain RDAs, LEPs and the prospects for Corus, he must be able to give his support to rebalancing our economy by bringing train-building back to the Birthplace of the Railways.