Daniel Kawczynski: The hon. Gentleman asks us to sympathise with his schools, but how can we do that when our schools receive a fraction of the funding per head that his schools get?
Daniel Kawczynski: rose—
Daniel Kawczynski: My hon. Friend, like me, represents a rural constituency. The lack of funding that we get in comparison with urban areas is putting real pressure on schools, especially in dealing with children with special needs. Does she agree that the time has come to ensure that the differences between rural and urban areas are rectified?
Daniel Kawczynski: What recent assessment he has made of political developments in Afghanistan.
Daniel Kawczynski: Bearing in mind the extraordinary sacrifices that our country has made over many years in terms of the lost lives of our military personnel and the billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money that have been spent trying to bring peace to this country, we are clearly very interested in ongoing political developments. What additional help is my right hon. Friend giving to the Afghanistan...
Daniel Kawczynski: There are growing international concerns about Germany’s intentions to build an undersea gas pipeline directly to Russia. Does the Secretary of State share those concerns, because this will put at risk the energy security of our key NATO allies in central and eastern Europe?
Daniel Kawczynski: The clinically led Future Fit programme for Shropshire seeks to improve and modernise hospital services across the county of Shropshire. We have been waiting for a decision on this issue for many years. Will the Prime Minister use her good offices to ensure that this vital scheme is supported in the coming weeks, so that we can secure this vital investment for Shropshire NHS?
Daniel Kawczynski: Shrewsbury College has an outstanding reputation for providing high-quality apprenticeship programmes, yet it was unsuccessful in the latest non-levy apprenticeship tender process, which will put the college and students at a disadvantage. It caters for a huge geographical catchment area, and Ministers and officials need to think again about this.
Daniel Kawczynski: Shropshire farmers are pleased with some of the mood music coming from the Government about the financial support that they will get in a post-Brexit world. Will the Minister or one of his senior officials commit to come to the Shropshire show this year and continue that dialogue with our Shropshire farmers?
Daniel Kawczynski: What steps his Department is taking to improve the condition of local roads.
Daniel Kawczynski: I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. He will be aware that Shropshire Council has submitted a very effective business case, supported by our local enterprise partnership, for the funding of the north-west relief road in Shrewsbury, which is the final bit of the circular around our town. What steps is he taking to ensure that the scheme is looked upon favourably?
Daniel Kawczynski: What steps she is taking to promote value for money in aid spending.
Daniel Kawczynski: I thank the Minister for that answer. I am sure she will agree that she constantly has to justify to the electorate the amount of money that is spent overseas. With that in mind, what steps are being taken to ensure that more of the equipment utilised is British, that more of the non-governmental organisations employed to carry out the work are British and that the armed forces, where...
Daniel Kawczynski: Shrewsbury is one of the most popular places to which to retire in the whole United Kingdom. The beauty of our historic town and the Shropshire countryside attracts a lot of senior citizens to come to live in our community. We celebrate their contribution to our constituencies and to the county, but with that increase in the number of senior citizens comes, of course, additional adult social...
Daniel Kawczynski: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. Of course, we almost think of Herefordshire as part of our area.
Daniel Kawczynski: My hon. Friend is not quite Salopian, but he is certainly our neighbour, and I thank him. Whether we look at funding for local government, education or, indeed, health, we can see, as my hon. Friend the Member for North Herefordshire (Bill Wiggin) will acknowledge, large gaps in funding—a disparity between rural and inner-city areas.
Daniel Kawczynski: My hon. Friend makes a critical point. When Labour were in government, I brought Labour Ministers to parts of Shrewsbury, including Harlescott, Ditherington and Sundorne, where there are some of the highest levels of deprivation throughout our county and the region. They were amazed. The Opposition just think of Shrewsbury as a quiet, sleepy, beautiful little historic town. They do not...
Daniel Kawczynski: When the fairer funding formula comes into being, I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will work with other Ministers to really understand the huge gulf that is starting to appear between city metropolitan areas and rural shire counties. We are becoming second-class citizens in rural areas because of the lack of funding in comparison to socialist metropolitan areas.
Daniel Kawczynski: The Nord Stream 2 pipeline—the undersea oil and gas pipeline that Germany intends to build directly to Russia—has been condemned by the American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, as a threat to the security of countries in central and eastern Europe. Does the Minister agree with that sentiment?
Daniel Kawczynski: What steps he is taking to support cross-border economic opportunities.