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West Midlands: Economic Outlook

Volume 737: debated on Wednesday 13 September 2023

We regularly engage with local partners across the west midlands to gather insight and intelligence on the economy. Earlier this year we initiated the trailblazer devolution deal, which includes measures to help businesses thrive. I see that, just the other week, the Mayor launched Business Growth West Midlands, backed with £100 million in funding for business support.

I thank the Prime Minister for that answer, and I am glad to hear about the continuing growth in the west midlands. However, in Lichfield we have a problem with road and footpath closures, and we do not know for how long they will go on. HS2 is behind these closures, and one hand does not know what the other is doing—HS2 is the most dysfunctional organisation I have ever had to deal with. Will the Prime Minister, in the short term, try to restructure HS2 so that it works as a company should? In the longer term, can he save other constituencies by stopping HS2 at the end of phase 1?

I know the frustration that this is causing to my hon. Friend’s constituents. I am told that HS2 Ltd is prioritising the completion of works that are under way, including roadworks in Lichfield, to keep disruption to a minimum. I know that the Transport Secretary will continue to hold it to account and that the company will keep local communities informed about future works.