Following a busy summer recess, I returned to Parliament at the start of the month. Each week, I am required to spend the first few days in Parliament. Here, I ask Ministers questions on the floor of the House of Commons. I also attend debates on topical issues, representing Wolverhampton in Westminster. I post videos of my speeches on social media. You can watch them here.
Later in the week, I return to Wolverhampton to attend events, help my team deal with casework, and try to better understand the priorities that those living locally want me to work on. As part of this, I launched my ‘Community Conversations’ project. This is a short survey which will ask you a few questions on what issues matter to you. I encourage as many constituents as possible to complete this survey. The more responses that I get, the more representative the results will be. Please include your postcode so that I can verify that you live in our constituency.
One of issues that I know constituents are particularly worried about is the future of our economy. I am working with key partners in local government and healthcare to ensure that our great city can emerge from this virus as strong as possible. I am also working on casework brought to me by local businesses and constituents. Last week, I spoke in the House of Commons on this subject. I took that opportunity to thank the Chancellor for the financial support schemes which have been put into place. In our community, 10,500 people have been supported via the Job Retention Scheme, over £7 million has been distributed to self-employed people, and 3,954 businesses have been supported via business support grants. I also mentioned the great work that is being done by businesses like Malik Butchers of Whitmore Reans, Jim Gough’s of Tettenhall, and Grill-It in Newbridge.
While I know that it would not be possible to continue these schemes indefinitely, I do welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to consider creative ideas which further support jobs, like the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme that will offer work placements to young people at the greatest risk of long-term unemployment, with wages and training covered by the Government. I also welcome the Job Retention Bonus that will give employers a one-off payment for previously furloughed employers kept on until the end of January. I am also asking the Government to consider ways in which constituents of all ages can be empowered to be part of the economic recovery from Covid-19.
I am confident that, by working together, we can get through this difficult time stronger as a stronger community. I am extremely grateful to all constituents who have been following the latest official guidance on Covid-19, and for those who have been working on the frontline of our response. Working together begins with meaningful dialogue and that is why I have launched my ‘Community Conversations’ project. You can now take part in here.
I am also encouraged that the team at HM Treasury have opened a consultation as part of the Government’s ‘Comprehensive Spending Review’. This consultation will allow the Government to consider its priorities across all spending over multiple years. A spending review is carried out approximately every three years to allocate funding to Government departments. The conclusions of this review are specifically designed to provide clarity to Government departments so that they can plan for the future. I have already been contacted by constituents who have asked me to campaign for specific items to be included in this review. While I cannot guarantee any specific outcomes from this review, I can assure you that I will continue to bang the drum for Wolverhampton South West.
You can take part in Stuart’s Community Conversations here: https://www.stuartanderson.org.uk/news/stuart-anderson-mp-launches-community-conversations-survey
You can take part in the Chancellor’s Spending Review here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/comprehensive-spending-review-2020-representations-guidance/comprehensive-spending-review-2020-representations-guidance