The effects of the economic downturn on the people of the West Midlands - call for evidence

The West Midlands Regional Select Committee of the House of Commons has been examining how businesses in the West Midlands have been faring in the present economic and financial situation. It is now planning a complementary inquiry on The effects of the economic downturn on the people of the West Midlands region.

The Committee will examine:

1. what problems exist and how their effects can be minimised in advance of an economic upturn;

2. how effectively Government agencies and other regional bodies are addressing these problems; and

3. what advice and assistance people need to help them live more sustainable lifestyles in future.

Issues that the Committee is particularly interested in receiving evidence on include:

€ the level of indebtedness in the population, and the assistance available to people to cope with it;

€ the level of home repossessions and the adequacy of support available to those facing difficulties with mortgage or rent payments (NB the Committee is planning a further inquiry on the Regional Spatial Strategy and wider housing issues for the autumn)

€ the availability and appropriateness of training, both for new entrants to the labour market and for those seeking retraining in new skills;

€ the adequacy of assistance to help people find new jobs; and

€ social cohesion.

The Committee asks for written submissions in accordance with the guidelines stated below by noon on Tuesday 21 July 2009, although submissions received after that date will be accepted.

Please note
A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked "West Midlands Regional Committee Inquiry". The Committee's strong preference is for submissions in electronic form, although hard copy originals will be accepted and should be sent to Emma Sawyer, Senior Committee Assistant, at:

Regional Committees
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

Each submission should:

€ be no more than 3,000 words in length;

€ begin with a short summary in bullet point form;

€ have numbered paragraphs; and

€ (if in electronic form) be in Word format or a rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible.

For Data Protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals submitting written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please supply a postal address so that a copy of the Committee's report can be sent to you upon publication.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at:

Please also note that once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee will normally, although not always, choose to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.