Flooding (England)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 9th July 2007.

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Photo of Richard Caborn Richard Caborn Labour, Sheffield Central 3:31 pm, 9th July 2007

I am fresh from the retraining course for ex-Ministers, so I shall try to keep within the rules. I associate myself with the comments of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, and I thank all my colleagues for the work that they have put in over the recent past. It has been welcomed and appreciated in the affected areas.

In relation to my constituency and its industrial base, there are some serious problems. The industry there is heavy industry, and eight or a dozen of the major companies—large companies—are facing real difficulties. Even smaller companies which have not been affected by the flooding but which are in the supply chain to the larger companies view the situation with concern. The chamber of commerce, in discussions with many of us in Sheffield, has asked us to raise the matter in the House and ask the Government to look specifically at the large companies in the Don valley, which are major producers and on which the smaller companies in the supply chain rely. That is important. In this world of globalisation, many of those companies are not funded from within the UK. Foreign investors and the parent companies will be looking at those companies, as some will have to relocate. That relocation may not be in the UK. That are some genuine concerns, which I hope my right hon. Friend will convey to our right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, as that wealth creation is extremely important to the whole of south Yorkshire and, indeed, to the nation.