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
As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Dudley is proud of its heritage, but we need economic stability to deliver a prosperous future. Will the Prime Minister come to launch the new enterprise zone in Brierley Hill and look at how we can attract more investment, create new jobs and develop the highly skilled workforce that our community needs?
David Cameron (The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party)
Mike Wood: Will the Minister support employers coming into prisons to offer training, so that offenders can be better placed to find a job when they leave prison and are more likely to stay out of prison?
Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Rosindell, I think for the first time. I thank the hon. Member for Sheffield Central (Paul Blomfield) for securing this debate on an extremely important issue. Before I begin, I declare an interest in that my brother works in the social care sector—he started a new role on Monday—although he is not directly affected by the issues we are discussing this afternoon.
Mike Wood: Two hundred and sixty thousand new apprenticeships have been created since the election, but the whole public sector needs to play its part if we are to meet the 3 million target to which the Prime Minister has referred. Will he ensure that every part of the public sector invests in training our young people so that we have the skills the country needs?
David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party