Mark Pawsey: On Friday, I met businesses in my constituency at an event organised by our local enterprise partnership. They tell me that access to finance is one of the most important issues they face. Will the Chancellor confirm that the measures introduced in the autumn statement will provide more and cheaper finance to businesses in Rugby?
Mark Pawsey: What assessment he has made of the potential effects of planned changes to Government procurement on UK businesses bidding for contracts.
Mark Pawsey: It is the small businesses that often have the greatest difficulty in accessing Government contracts, and that is because of a regulation from the European Union. Will the Minister tell us what steps he is taking to reform EU regulations to make it easier to secure contracts with Government both at a national and local level?
Mark Pawsey: rose—
Mark Pawsey: Mr Davies, I have spoken to my hon. Friend who secured the debate, but not the Minister. Could I have two minutes to speak?
Mark Pawsey: Does my hon. Friend agree that in addition to providing a broader range of products, the supermarkets that he refers to have brought the benefit of reducing the cost of living for many people by reducing the price of basic essentials and the general grocery bill?
Mark Pawsey: What discussions he has had with National Grid on the shutting down of wind farms during times of high wind intensity.
Mark Pawsey: My constituents in Rugby, who face applications for wind farms, will be concerned about reports that turbines are switched off in times of high wind speeds because the current infrastructure is unable to handle the amount of electricity generated. When that happens, National Grid pays operators compensation—
Mark Pawsey: What steps has the Minister taken to protect consumers from that element of the increase in their electricity bills?
Mark Pawsey: I am distressed to hear my hon. Friend describe Rugby in such terms. We have a brilliant rail service and a fast-growing town, so I hope that he would look a little more kindly upon my constituency.
Mark Pawsey: What discussions she has had with the European Commission on the height of trailers.
Mark Pawsey: Does my hon. Friend agree that some of the slack that exists in regional airports could be used to deal with the shortage of capacity at Heathrow? I am thinking, in particular, of Birmingham airport, which is just 90 miles away from Heathrow.
Mark Pawsey: What fiscal steps he is taking to encourage job creation in the private sector.
Mark Pawsey: Industries using large amounts of energy—such as Cemex, which manufactures cement in Rugby—are concerned about the relatively high energy prices here compared with other parts of the world. Will the Minister update the House on the steps being taken to ensure that the energy prices paid by British industry remain competitive?
Mark Pawsey: Does my right hon. Friend agree that, given that the framework retains the protection for the green belt, refers specifically to development on brownfield land and supports the “town centre first” policy, many of the organisations opposing these proposals on the airwaves today are perhaps raising concerns unnecessarily?
Mark Pawsey: What steps he is taking to speed up the adoption system.
Mark Pawsey: One thing that came out of the Select Committee’s work was the need to engage local communities. My hon. Friend mentioned a number of bodies involved in the Northampton scheme, but many of them strike me as fairly corporate. What is happening to communicate with individual people in local communities across the piece?
Mark Pawsey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost of administering Gift Aid was in each of the last five financial years.
Mark Pawsey: Is my right hon. Friend encouraged, as I am, that although it was feared that neighbourhoods would not accept development, the very first neighbourhood plan to come forward—in Dawlish, I understand—included proposals for a new housing development? Does he find that as encouraging as other Government Members do?
Mark Pawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many cases involving smart meters the Energy Ombudsman has dealt with in the last 12 months.