Michael asks the Prime Minister about the West Midlands’ Industrial Strategy and gets birthday greetings
Michael Fabricant asked the Prime Minister questions today about the West Midlands Industrial Strategy. “As well as receiving a very full answer from her, I also got surprise birthday good wishes from her as did Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, whose birthday it was yesterday” Michael says.
The full Hansard text is below and a video of part of the response can be seen at the bottom.
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con):
Q1. What recent discussions she has had with the Mayor of the west midlands on the creation of employment in that region; and if she will make a statement.
The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May):
Before I answer my hon. Friend’s question let me say that Friday marks two years since the devastating Grenfell Tower fire. The survivors and bereaved, many of whom lost everything, have endured so much with such dignity. Our highest priority has been to ensure the survivors receive the support they need, and we must learn all we can to make sure no one ever has to go through their experience again.
This week is also Carers Week, which gives us all the opportunity to pay tribute to the enormous contribution that paid and unpaid carers make to our society.
Turning to my hon. Friend’s question, I met the Mayor during my visit to the Kings Norton headquarters of the adi Group, which was an excellent opportunity to see a successful west midlands company doing its part to give young people a career. Yesterday’s job figures show that employment has risen by over 300,000 in the west midlands since 2010, which is something to be celebrated.
I also celebrate my hon. Friend’s birthday today and that of the Mayor of the west midlands, who I believe had a birthday yesterday.
May I associate myself with my right hon. Friend’s earlier comments, if not the birthday greetings, for which I thank her? The west midlands was the first region in the country to launch its industrial strategy, and I think it is the best regional industrial strategy. As this strategy is a shared endeavour between the region and the Government, what further help can she and the Government give to realise its full potential?
The Prime Minister:
My hon. Friend is absolutely right to highlight the Government’s industrial strategy and to recognise the shared work that goes into those industrial strategies between government, the region and business. We will be investing £20 million towards this region becoming the UK’s first future mobility zone—that will be introducing new technologies to encourage more seamless and efficient journeys; investing up to £50 million to put the region at the forefront of 5G developments, as the new innovative home to the UK’s first multi-city 5G test bed; and £332 million from the Government’s transforming cities fund to extend the city region’s Metro system. This shared vision for inclusive growth shows how we can reach our potential and do so in a way that benefits all communities.