February Adjournment

It is a pleasure to follow five outstanding maiden speeches by five new hon. Friends, each of whom clearly has a very bright future in this House. They each painted a vivid picture of the delights of their constituency and paid warm and generous tribute to their predecessors—those of us who knew them will remember them fondly and with great affection. I was particularly pleased to hear so many of my hon. Friends refer to the importance of pubs and breweries to their constituencies. Speaking as the chairman of the all-party group on beer, I hope that the new ministerial team at the Treasury were listening to those speeches and will consider that these important industries merit support in proportion to the exceptionally high economic and social contribution that pubs and British beer make to each of our constituencies.

I wish to raise a matter of great concern to many of my constituents. It relates to the issue I raised at business questions today: proposals for development of green-belt land on the edge of the west midlands metropolitan conurbation. South Staffordshire District Council, where the land lies, recently consulted on its spatial housing strategy, as part of its local plan review. The land lies within South Staffordshire, but it borders my constituency, and those of my hon. Friends the Members for Stourbridge (Suzanne Webb), for Dudley North (Marco Longhi) and for Wolverhampton South West (Stuart Anderson).