MP Nicky Morgan: Businesses' Budget views wanted
On Wednesday, March 20, the Chancellor will stand up to deliver his annual Budget. As we head towards this date, now is the time for businesses of all sizes and individuals to put forward their Budget ideas.
In order to facilitate this and also to allow businesses to give their reaction to the Budget, I am holding two forum events in March – in Shepshed and Loughborough.
The Loughborough event will be attended by the minister for enterprise, Michael Fallon, before he speaks at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Conference in Leicester.
I am looking forward to my own appearance at the FSB event the following day, at a question-and-answer session alongside Jon Ashworth MP and others. I'm sure the debate will be vigorous.
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Small and medium-sized businesses are the economic lifeblood of my constituency.
They drive innovation and employment and attract investment to the area.
That is why I welcome recent news about the investment by Leicestershire County Council and Charnwood Borough Council in the next phase of the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park and our recent City Deal.
On February 19, the Deputy Prime Minister announced the successful City Deal areas, which include Leicester and Leicestershire.
Cities will have the chance to negotiate deals that give them the levers and powers they need to drive economic growth in their area and to try out innovative approaches. Each deal is bespoke.
The councils and the Government will work to negotiate a final deal over the next year.
Our City Deal promises to unlock key regeneration projects and holds great promise for our city and county.
Earlier this week, a group of Conservative East Midlands MPs met senior managers from East Midlands Ambulance Service (Emas).
Our main concern was the letters and conversations with constituents which reveal ongoing and persistent problems with response times.
Emas management recognised the problems and are working on a plan to improve things, but we wanted to press them on how real progress could be made.
The meeting was open and helpful but there is clearly a lot more work to do.
I also attended a session with the Heritage Lottery Fund this week.
One of its main ambitions is to find good projects to support which will mark the centenaries of the First World War from 2014 onwards.
The Heritage Lottery Fund can provide money to help us to mark these important anniversaries by exploring the history and legacy of the war. More information can be found at:
Finally, I was fortunate enough to be invited to visit Leicester prison last week.
It was a fascinating visit and I gained a good insight into how the prison operates.
I was particularly interested in how people with mental health conditions who are caught up in the criminal justice system are identified and supported.
I will be reporting back to the Ministry of Justice on the areas we discussed and I am grateful to the Governor for allowing me to visit.