Mike Wood: My hon. Friend rightly speaks about our furniture manufacturers’ reputation for high standards, which is one of the many reasons why Boss Design in my constituency has been picked to furnish the new World Trade Centre in New York. Research by the British Furniture Confederation showed that some products that come into the UK with CE approval are not properly flame resistant and can be burnt to a cinder in as little as 10 minutes, whereas a properly compliant product would self-extinguish within 10 to 15 seconds.

Mike Wood, MP for Dudley South, was welcomed to RAF Cosford Airbase last F

Mike Wood: Dudley South has one of the biggest shopping centres in the country, a new enterprise zone and one of the largest secure industrial parks in Europe, but it has no railway station and on a good day it is probably half an hour from the nearest motorway junction.

Westfield Sportscars in my constituency is a family-owned firm. The company was built on building sports cars and kit cars, but it has now expanded into electric and autonomous vehicles. I was pleased earlier this year to welcome the Secretary of State for Transport and the Government Chief Whip to Westfield to see the new autonomous pods it is now exporting. Working with Ordnance Survey and a range of academic and commercial partners, Westfield has created a world-beating product.

Mike Wood: Will my right hon. Friend ensure that legislation such as measures providing for the next phase of the high-speed rail project and other infrastructure investment mean that we can rebalance the economy to make sure that the whole country benefits from the economic progress to which she referred?


Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Mike Wood: Does my hon. Friend agree that this problem is particularly acute on pavements around schools, especially primary schools, where obstructed pavements not only force buggies into the road but obstruct pedestrians’ view and prevent them from crossing safely?


Simon Hoare Conservative, North Dorset

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, and as this debate continues the clear and tangible benefits are seen to be ever wider and ever clearer.