Last week in Westminster began with a series of meetings. I had a very interesting meeting with the Retail Motor Industry Federation to discuss various issues and their apprentices.
The RMIF represents businesses concerned with providing retail motor industry products from cars, trucks, light vans and services and has more than 8,000 members throughout the UK. We discussed Government support for small and medium enterprises and how positive it is we have seen growth in our country and that we must bring business back to Britain.
I was then onto an event hosted by the Children’s Heart Federation in its call to raise awareness of the need for more heart donors for children. Opinion polls in the UK show the vast majority of population is in favour of organ donation. Across the UK there are almost 7,000 people waiting for transplants.
I’m supporting the Children’s Heart Federation in their call for all political parties, including my own, to commit to raising awareness of the need for heart donors for children. We’ve come a long way with medical advancements for these children over the years – we now need to look to their future, and this is so important all across our town and especially in our own town.
I also attended another event of the similar type on Wednesday where the NHS Blood and Transplant was in Parliament to raise awareness of the need for more blood donors during the busy festive period. Whole blood and platelet donations will be needed over the coming six weeks to supply hospitals across England and North Wales treating patients with cancer and anaemias, after accidents or childbirth complications.
I encourage anyone who can give blood to do so.
On Tuesday I attended an important business dinner with Vince Cable to have some positive and interesting dialogue on the issues which are currently emerging and to listen to what business people have to say all across the country, including relaying back the concerns businesses in Burnley have had in the past.
Business and the Government must proactively support each other to improve labour productivity, defined by the output for each unit of labour, and ultimately drive more inclusive economic growth in both the short term and over the long term.
On Wednesday I was delighted to speak at Prime Minister’s Questions. David Cameron praised me for my commitment to increasing apprenticeships, training and skills in Burnley. I was honoured with his comments where the Prime Minister noted the success of the economic plan in Burnley. I welcomed the latest unemployment figures which are down to 3.5%.
In 2009, Burnley was classed as an unemployment blackspot. The town is booming thanks to everyone in the manufacturing industry and local businesses working hard.
Thursday I was down in London for Parliamentary business and was involved in various debates.
I then was back in Burnley to deal with constituency issues and was delighted to have a rest on Saturday evening and went to see “The Imitation Game”. I would encourage anyone to go and see it.