The European view

Back from Brussels where I’ve been for a few days discussing EU policies with MEPs and other local authorities from across Europe.

Although Belgium is a long way from Burton, Biddulph or Brewood, discussions like this are hugely important for Staffordshire and the wider West Midlands region.

Topics like where future regional funding is allocated, lessening the burden of regulations and the different needs of our urban and rural communities affect us all and events like this one are an opportunity for some valuable views and practices to be shared and lobby opinion formers and rapporteurs who write the reports that go to the commission.

Of course, things didn’t stop in Staffordshire while I was away.  The Chancellor’s Autumn statement came out on Tuesday with news of Government plans to improve infrastructure and support small businesses.

I’m pleased to say that neither of these areas are new to us here in Staffordshire.

When we took control over 2 years ago, we invested £30m in the county’s roads and we will also be investing in a new motorway junction to support the Jaguar Land Rover plant to be built in Staffordshire. We have also lent £1.2m to 47 small companies across the county – creating and protecting jobs and boosting the local economy.

The latest Government plans can only further enhance the successes we are already having locally.


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