The latest from Westminster...
This week was a week of significant dates and for very different reasons. Monday 4th July marked four months since my election victory. In that time I think we have made real progress in our bid to bring Barnsley’s biggest issues to Parliament and begin the process of re-branding our regional and national profile.
The second target coincided with my election to Chair of the backbench Business, Innovation and Skills Committee. When I was elected Chair, I wanted to make sure that we seek the advice of many business leaders, whether from large, global companies or small and medium sized local companies. You will recall that last month I invited Simon Biltcliffe, a business man from Barnsley, who had some very interesting ideas on higher education and its link to business.
This week we were fortunate enough to be addressed by Lord Alan Sugar. Lord Sugar has a formidable business background and didn’t pull his punches as he explained his views on manufacturing and Britain’s work ethic. There was plenty for me to ponder on and to bring back to Barnsley.
Also this week, I made a speech in which I gave my support to Rileys, Britain’s oldest Snooker Hall chain. As you will know we have a Rileys here in Barnsley so this speech was especially important for me. I want the government to level the playing field when it comes to the prizes that can be offered on the fruit machines. At the moment, bookmakers and bingo halls can give double the prizes that snooker hall gaming machines have. This has cost companies like Riley’s millions of pounds in the past few years. Over a 1,000 people are employed by the company, including people in Barnsley.
My week ended in Westminster today with my thoughts with those grieving for loved ones who were tragically killed on the London Underground six years ago today. The country hasn’t forgotten them and our commitment to ensuring that events like 7/7 never happen again, is total.