West Midlands Committee

Session 2008-09

Thursday 7 May 2009

The impact of the current economic and financial situation on businesses in the West Midlands Region: Evidence hearing

The new committee of MPs set up to look into issues affecting the West Midlands is having its second formal evidence hearing on Monday 11 May at 11.15am in The SYDNI Centre, Cottage Square, Off Marloes Walk, Sydeham, Leamington Spa, CV31 1PT.  The hearing, which is open to the public, is part of the West Midlands Committee’s first inquiry into the impact of the current economic and financial situation on businesses in the West Midlands Region.

Appearing before the Committee are:
                   David Caro, West Midlands Federation of Small Businesses and Qualplast Ltd
                   Denise Craig, West Midlands Federation of Small Businesses
                   Gary Woodman, Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire & Worcestershire
                   Barrie Williams, West Midlands Business Council
                   Chris Rosier, Chord Developments and the West Midlands Developers Alliance

The chair of the Committee Richard Burden MP said:

“These are challenging times for businesses throughout the West Midlands and it is important that the new West Midlands Select Committee hears from those at the sharp end.

“Last month in Birmingham we took evidence from the banks and now we want to hear directly from businesses about bank lending in practice.

"We want to speak to sectors that are struggling and businesses who are seizing new opportunities during the downturn.

"The Committee wants to find out what Government help and advice is most useful to West Midlands business and where improvements could be made - so we can put this to Ministers on behalf of our region."


The Committee Members are: Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield), Mr Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West), Mr David Kidney (Stafford), Mr James Plaskitt (Warwick & Leamington) and Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North). All of the MPs on the Committee live in the West Midlands and represent local constituencies.

The terms of reference for the inquiry:

• The effect of the financial and economic situation on businesses in the region including the effect on different sectors such as manufacturing, service industries etc
• How effective Advantage West Midlands and initiatives such as Business Link are  being in assisting businesses in the current climate, including helping them to gain  access to funding both from Government funding streams and through the banking system
• The response of banks and other financial institutions to government and other initiatives to stimulate bank lending and the access of businesses in the region to credit 
• The role of the West Midlands Task Force established by the Regional Minister in helping businesses cope with the economic downturn.
• The role of other Government agencies such as the Government Office for the West Midlands, and of partnerships between Government agencies, local government and the private sector, in providing support for businesses.  

For more information visit the Regional Committee pages at:  www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/wmid.cfm

Committee Information:  David Lloyd e:mail  lloyddr@parliament.uk Tel: 020 7219 6295
Media Information: Nick Davies,  e:mail daviesnick@parliament.uk   Tel: 020 7219 3297
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