Mike Wood: I rise as a member of the Campaign for Real Ale and one of the vice-chairmen of the all-party group on beer and brewing.
Given what we hear about the number of pubs closing each week, a proposal such as new clause 9 has a superficial attraction. After all, pubs are at the heart of our communities not only as a place for people to come together, with all the social and health benefits that that brings, but increasingly as community hubs, as more and more services are operating out of licensed premises.
Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish guidance to clarify whether overnight sleep-in shifts are exempt from the national living wage rate; and if he will make a statement.
Margot James (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy))
Mike Wood: My father was a West Midlands policeman in the 1980s and spent some days policing at Orgreave. Clearly, where there is solid evidence of police malpractice, it must be dealt with effectively and with the full force of the law. Does the Home Secretary recognise the concerns of many serving and retired police officers about what they perceive to be a political campaign with a predetermined outcome?
Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for the Home Department
Mike Wood: The previous Chancellor announced a new light rail link between the Midland metro and the new enterprise zone in Brierley Hill in my constituency. Will my right hon. Friend meet me to discuss how we can extend that to the main line rail link at Stourbridge so that we can support businesses, communities and jobs in my constituency?
Mike Wood: In my constituency, rather like in the hon. Gentleman’s, Lloyds Banking Group announced two further bank closures yesterday. He is speaking movingly about the impact of bank closures on our communities, but that impact also extends to the staff. Does he agree that banks need to do far more to redeploy staff, and, where redeployment cannot take place, to make sure that retraining and support are in place so that staff are treated fairly?
Mike Wood: On that very point, the family-owned Hinton Perry & Davenhill brickworks in my constituency has recently invested £5 million in new energy and production efficiency measures. Does my hon. Friend agree that undermining the business model on which such brickworks operate reduces investment in energy efficiency, thereby worsening the situation, rather than helping?
Mike Wood: Thousands of members of the pension scheme at the old Round Oak steelworks in my constituency may need a buyer to ensure that we have a stable steel industry, but one of the obstacles to securing such a buyer has been the withdrawal of trade credit insurance over recent weeks. Will the Secretary of State do everything he can to ensure that appropriate guarantees are available?
Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills)
Mike Wood: What action is my right hon. Friend taking to help UK steel suppliers to win Government contracts, and to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises in the supply chain benefit from those opportunities?
Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills