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 Hazel Blears Hazel Blears The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Party Chair, Labour Party 3:31 pm, 9th July 2007

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his—as ever—incisive, succinct and effective contribution on behalf of his constituency. I am well aware of the effect on businesses. I know from visiting Sheffield last week that companies such as Forgemasters and Corus Engineering, which are big employers, have been very badly affected. I understand that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform—I do not know whether we call it DBERR, or perhaps DEBRA—is visiting tomorrow and will meet representatives of the chamber of commerce to discuss the matters. The chief executive of the regional development agency, whom I met last week, is conscious of the need to give assistance. I am concerned about the message that this sends out, both to investors and to developers. We need to be conscious of the fact that in many areas, for regeneration and for industrial investment, it is important that proper steps are taken to maintain the confidence of those communities. Many of our areas are now thriving through regeneration and we need to keep that confidence going.