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West Midlands Regional Select Committee begins work

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12 March 2009: For immediate release

The new West Midlands Regional Select Committee of the House of Commons has elected Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham, Northfield as its Chairman.

The other members of the Committee are Mr Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West), Mr David Kidney (Stafford), Mr James Plaskitt (Warwick & Leamington) and Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North).

The first inquiry that the Committee will undertake will be into how the current economic and financial situation is impacting on businesses in the West Midlands. As part of that it will look at how government agencies are assisting businesses in gaining access to funds, including credit through the banking system. Full terms of reference and a call for evidence will be announced next week.

Following his election Mr Burden said :
"People in the West Midlands can sometimes feel that the world of politics and of government is remote from their everyday lives: that they don't have real influence over the decisions that affect them and their family. I want to see the new West Midlands Regional Select Committee help to address that. All of the MPs on the Committee live in the West Midlands and represent local constituencies.

"The issues our region is facing are real enough - real issues and they affect real people. We know that right now businesses in the West Midlands are facing a really challenging time. That's why one of our first actions will be to look at the availability of bank credit and how the support that Government is making available to business is working here in the region.

"The new Regional Select Committee has the potential to have a real impact in the West Midlands. We will show that people's concerns about their jobs and their families' futures are at the centre of our concerns here in Parliament."