Local businesses and town centres

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?

 

David Gauke The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

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

Earlier, I referred to mobile businesses being within the scope of the Bill. To clarify, they are not in the Bill but the intention is to include property contained within mobile businesses in the regulations. I hope that the Minister will take that on board.

Mike Wood:

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

Mike Wood: It is a pleasure to be called to participate in my first Westminster Hall debate under your chairmanship, Mr Crausby. I join my right hon. and hon. Friends in congratulating Richard Burden on securing the debate on this extremely important topic. As the son of a west midlands police officer, who served for nearly 30 years in West Midlands police and before that in the Birmingham force, through the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and mid-’90s, this issue is important to me personally.

Mike Wood: It seems slightly rude to intrude on the private squabbles between the Labour and SNP Front Benches, but I am delighted to speak in support of the Finance Bill, which implements many of the measures in the summer Budget.

Last week’s Black Country Day celebrated our region’s industrial heritage, and the measures announced in the Budget will do much to develop the framework for

Mike Wood: The business rates system is one of the major barriers to competitiveness for small and medium-sized enterprises. What plans do Ministers have to reform and alleviate some of that burden?

 

Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

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