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Articles about ‘Jobs, business & economy’

I want to hear your views on the EU

On 23rd June, every one of us will have the chance to decide for ourselves whether to cast our votes for or against Britain remaining in the European Union. It is a big decision and it is a tough one. Talking to people around here in the last few weeks, though, I know that people are getting really fed up with the bitterness and backbiting that has often disfigured the debate. People also tell me how frustrated they feel when both sides bombard them with what they claim are “facts” but which are so contradictory that they end up creating more fog than clarity.

Like you, I have one vote on June 23 and, like you, I’ll vote for what – as an individual – I think is right for the future of our country.

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In The Debate Over British Steel, Don’t Forget The Human Cost

The government must learn the lessons of the collapse of MG Rover.

Car-making at Longbridge and steel at Port Talbot and elsewhere are not simply about the economies of those areas. They are about their heritage; about community identity and the prospects for the next generation. A focus on building community resilience was a vital part of the response to the collapse of MG Rover in Birmingham. It was only partially successful here – particularly once the immediate crisis had passed – and we are still living with the consequences of that. It will be no less important in Port Talbot.

There are lessons here for ministers over Port Talbot and Steel. Involve local partners, don’t just hand decisions down to them from ministerial working groups. Think strategically and if time is avoidably preventing a viable future being secured, do what is necessary to buy that time. And while taking a public stake in commercial enterprises is not likely to be a solution of itself, it can help – at least on a temporary basis – to put a sustainable strategy in place and to keep it on track.

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Richard Burden MP, Chair of Britain-Palestine All-Party Group has today accused Cabinet Office Minister, Matthew Hancock, of trying to duck Parliamentary Scrutiny for new restrictions on public sector procurement and ethical investment decisions, stating last week’s announcement should have been made to MPs, rather than on a visit in Israel.

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Recognising the College at the heart of our Community

The lights are up and anticipation is building for Christmas Day. And so I thought for my final article of the year it would be an apt time to be thankful and recognise the role of community in the area and the importance of standing up for Bournville College’s future.

At the very heart of communities up and down the country are local schools and colleges. Bournville College is of course at the core of ours. And without Bournville, there would be no Community News!

However its capacity to deliver as a college and community hub may be compromised as the Government has launched a review into Further Education (FE) or post-16 education in Birmingham and Solihull.

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Today I asked the Chancellor at PMQs about the England Illegal Money Lending Team – based in Birmingham.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team is national organisation which investigates, prosecutes and supports victims who have fallen into the clutches of loan sharks.

The scheme has helped over 24,000 loan shark victims. It costs £3.6m to run but has got £63million of illegal debts written off. Spend £3.6m to help some of the most vulnerable people in the country being ripped off to the tune of £63m? That sounds like good value for money to me. But, as Christmas approaches and loan sharks get hungrier to fleece people who have little money to buy family Christmas presents, the Illegal Money Lending Team faces losing a third of its budget due to Government cuts.

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