Following the Government statement on the work the Government are doing to support towns, Mark welcomes the £212 million allocated to the West Midlands and seeks assurances that it will be spent on market towns and not gobbled up by Birmingham and urban conurbations.
I welcome the £212 million that has been allocated to the west midlands, but will the Secretary of State reassure my constituents that Birmingham and the urban conurbations will not gobble up most of that money and that market towns such as Shifnal, Newport and Wellington in my constituency, working with the Marches local enterprise partnership, will see a lot of this funding, not just the rump of it?
That is why this is a town-based approach, not a city deal of the kind that we have seen before. I recognise how that has benefited our cities, but we need to ensure that our towns benefit, too. It is why that lies at the heart of the fund’s structure and my hon. Friend should be confident about the towns in his area being able to make those bids. I hope and want to see them succeed.