Fiona Bruce: Thank you.
Fiona Bruce: My second question is: is risk wrong? Looking at it, enterprise almost inevitably involves some degree of risk, but the potential for success makes it worth it. Do you agree?
Fiona Bruce: You have mentioned several times the need for business to have a voice. One suggestion that Mr Elliott has put forward is that there should be business neighbourhood groups. My sense from having been in business in the town in which I was a councillor is that the relationship between the business sector and the local authority tended to consist largely of paying rates and fearing a visit from...
Fiona Bruce: May I ask a supplementary? I still want to probe further. I understand that business people are busy, but do you think there would be an appetite for an ongoing engagement with local authorities—a standing group, rather than an occasional group, of business people and retired business people in the local authority structure—so that there could be a continuous voice and a meaningful...
Fiona Bruce: Another quick supplementary, if I may. Perhaps we need someone to champion good practice in certain local authorities. From my experience, that is not happening in all authorities—if I may, I also put that to the Ministers.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether compliance with the recommendations on financial education as part of Personal, Social and Health Education for Key Stages 1 to 4 is mandatory for schools.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the monetary value of exports to Burma was in each of the last three years; and what were the main products so exported.
Fiona Bruce: What assessment he has made of recent trends in business confidence in Scotland.
Fiona Bruce: Business organisations have welcomed the Government's plans to reduce the headline rate of corporation tax and simplify the tax system. Does the Secretary of State agree that cuts are vital for boosting enterprise?
Fiona Bruce: I was very interested in Liz and Adrian’s comments about the business community needing more of a voice. I became a local councillor in the area in which my business was situated. I realised that the business community is traditionally unrecognised and under-represented in terms of a local authority connection. If you consider their contribution to the well-being of a neighbourhood in...
Fiona Bruce: What recent steps he has taken to reduce levels of alcohol misuse among young people.
Fiona Bruce: I thank the Minister for that reply. Hon. Members will be aware of the recent publicity given to vodka eye-balling, which is a dangerous practice. Members of the ArcAngel volunteer team in my constituency are going into schools seeking to alert young people to this and other dangers of binge drinking and excessive alcohol abuse. What support can the Minister offer to ensure that we can...
Fiona Bruce: In addition to the interests I mentioned earlier, which I hope will stand for all our sessions, I should say for this session that I am a resident Cheshire West.
Fiona Bruce: Mr Howell has largely pre-empted a number of the issues that I wanted to address regarding cultural change, so I shall ask just one particular question. The Bill clearly provides many opportunities for local engagement, but I am concerned that Mr Redfern has said that it could take up to 30 years. How can national Government accelerate that cultural change by sending out messages to local...
Fiona Bruce: The important group in the local community that we have not discussed yet is local business people. From my experience, their voice is often limited to a short meeting to gather their views on the annual budget, which is a statutory requirement of local authorities. I recall one case in which that was even done by e-mail. How could the provisions of the Bill address that?
Fiona Bruce: I am interested because I take issue with that, as someone who was a local businessperson and became a councillor. The more we can develop a relationship between local authorities and those in business in the town, the greater we will encourage engagement in other ways.
Fiona Bruce: I would like to draw attention to my interests in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.
Fiona Bruce: Welcome, gentlemen. How do you think the provisions in the Bill could help to address the key challenge that many of us have experienced in our time in local government of attracting more strong community leaders to serve as councillors? Perhaps Mr Porter will respond first.
Fiona Bruce: My apologies, Mr Amess, but when do we declare interests?
Fiona Bruce: What steps she plans to take to amend the licensing regime affecting the sale of alcohol.