Amanda Milling: Will my right hon. Friend outline how the technical qualifications will meet the needs of employers? After all, we need to ensure that the skills that are being developed meet business requirements.
Amanda Milling: The Kingswood Lakeside business park in Cannock is home to many leading businesses and the new developments there will create hundreds of new jobs. Does my right hon. Friend agree that those developments are evidence of business confidence, and show that Cannock Chase is well and truly open for business and is a great place to do business?
Amanda Milling: Will my right hon. Friend join me in welcoming the news that thousands of new homes are being built in Cannock Chase, with new homes built every week? Does he agree that sites such as the Rugeley B power station are ideal places for new homes?
Amanda Milling: May we have a debate in Government time about the ways in which society lotteries can increase the amount of money being channelled to local charities?
Amanda Milling: What steps her Department is taking to encourage small businesses to participate in apprenticeship programmes.
Amanda Milling: Although they are keen to take on apprentices, I have small businesses in Cannock Chase that are finding it difficult to identify candidates. What are the Government doing to make it easier for small businesses to connect with local colleges and potential apprentices?
Amanda Milling: What assessment he has made of recent political developments in Northern Ireland.
Amanda Milling: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the result of the Assembly election demonstrates the desire of the overwhelming majority of people in Northern Ireland for strong and stable devolved government?
Amanda Milling: Can my right hon. Friend outline what measures are included in the midlands engine strategy to support small businesses and enterprises such as those in Cannock Chase?
Amanda Milling: Thirty-five years on, our armed forces still play a vital role in safeguarding the security of the Falkland Islands and other British overseas territories in the south Atlantic. Can my right hon. Friend confirm that this Government are committed to maintaining a strong armed forces presence in the Falklands?
Amanda Milling: Staffordshire fire and rescue service has been involved in two high-profile waste fires, including one on an illegal waste site near Rugeley. This has been a horrendous experience for local residents, and the fire service has faced significant costs in managing these incidents over the past six months. The dumping of illegal waste is a problem not just in Staffordshire. May we have a debate...
Amanda Milling: On this International Women’s Day, it is absolutely fantastic that we have the highest female employment rate and the highest percentage of women on FTSE 100 boards on record, that the gender pay gap is at the lowest on record, and that we have an amazing female Prime Minister. However, I am sure the Prime Minister will agree that there is still much more to do, particularly in supporting...
Amanda Milling: My right hon. Friend outlined how the UK automotive industry has been a huge success in recent years, and he has mentioned the industrial strategy a number of times. Will he provide a little more detail about how the industrial strategy will help us to ensure that the automotive industry continues to develop and grow?
Amanda Milling: I thank the Fire Minister for his intervention, which has seen Staffordshire fire authority cancel a £4 million life-skills centre. Does he agree that the fire authority was right to review the scheme as we need to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely, and that there are other ways to deliver all-important fire prevention work?
Amanda Milling: It is a real pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Jeremy Quin), with whom I sat on the joint Committee inquiry, and so many colleagues from the Business, Energy and Industrial Committee including: the hon. Member for Edinburgh West (Michelle Thomson) who, as ever, demonstrated she is a strong voice for Scotland on the Committee; our excellent Chair; and my hon. Friends...
Amanda Milling: I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s intervention, and some Members might hope that I do not start to talk about rail in too much detail, because I have spoken about it a lot in the House. My hon. Friend makes an incredibly important point, and one of the issues with the west coast main line is capacity in terms of not only passenger trains but freight trains. That is a key part of the...
Amanda Milling: The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point, and it is one that the Select Committee explored in relation to access to finance. There is an over-reliance on bank lending. There is a plethora of ways in which we can finance small businesses, but people do not necessarily look at all the options available to them. Let me go back to the point about the regions. In the context of devolution, we...
Amanda Milling: Given that the intention is to phase out coal-fired power stations between now and 2025, what will the Government do to work with local authorities that will face closures over the coming years?
Amanda Milling: It is a great pleasure to follow the right hon. Member for Knowsley (Mr Howarth). I, too, wish the Minister for Housing and Planning a very happy birthday, and I hope he gets some time to enjoy it. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to speak in this evening’s debate. I want to focus my contribution on part 1 of the Bill, which builds on the reforms of business rates undertaken in...
Amanda Milling: I have been calling for ambitious, bold and visionary redevelopment plans for the Rugeley B power station site to attract businesses that will create highly skilled jobs, so I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement and the Green Paper. Does he agree that the new, modern industrial strategy will provide the framework and conditions to help deliver this vision for Rugeley?