As I write on Tuesday, I hope to 'catch the Speaker's eye' and speak in the Budget debate. While I plan to raise a number of issues, one of the most pressing points included in my speech is the imminent revaluation of business rates. In recent weeks, I have canvassed opinion from local businesses on the upcoming changes and will continue to work with business groups to support those that are the most affected.
I thank all those that have got in touch with me to highlight individual cases and I would be pleased to hear from any other local enterprises on the matter. I will be raising local examples in the House of Commons and will urge the Government to keep this issue under review. £435m has been made available through the Budget to be directed towards those seeing the most significant rises but I am keen to ensure the success of small businesses remains a priority. As such, I have written to the Chancellor and would be happy to share a copy of that letter with local businesses if they would like to receive a copy. Please do get in touch if that is the case.
Elsewhere in the Budget, I welcomed the introduction of T-Levels, aimed at putting technical education on a similar footing to the A-Level system. I have long been of the opinion that parity of respect across all types of education is important. Addressing the skills gap and allowing businesses to recruit the very best talent requires our education system to provide a range of quality courses. I am very hopeful that T-Levels will go some way in achieving that goal.
Warwickshire College is a good example of an institution providing first-class courses in a range of subject areas. Building on this foundation and replicating its success across the country can bring a wide range of benefits. I thank the College for the invitation to join its Graduation Ceremony last week and was pleased to congratulate all those that have recently completed an apprenticeship. I wish them all the very best with their future careers.
In this section you can read my articles in the local press relating to my work - both in Westminster and in the constituency. Please get in touch with any comments you would like to make.