Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin tells government to back investment plans for Birmingham and the Black Country

Dudley MP Ian Austin has called on the government to back new plans for more jobs, new homes, better transport links and higher skills across the West Midlands.

Austin spoke up in the Commons to urge the Business Secretary Sajid Javid to support proposals for the government to hand powers to the new combined authority along with greater control of funding for job creation, housing, transport and training.

Local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships from across the West Midlands have put forward the plans that are now being considered by the government.

Speaking at Business Questions, Ian Austin said:

“Does the Secretary of State agree that the best way to improve the level of technical skills in the West Midlands would be to get behind the proposals from the region’s local authorities and local enterprise partnerships for a combined authority and elected mayor with devolved skills budgets to improve skills, bring former industrial sites back into use, provide more housing and better transport links, and get the economy of the West Midlands really moving?”

Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Business, replied:

“I agree with the honourable gentleman that the proposal for a West Midlands combined authority looks exciting and should be taken seriously. Obviously, the Government are considering all the proposals and need to look at their merits. I have met a number of people behind that proposal and it would be great to see whether we can work together and bring it forward.”

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