Yesterday in the House of Commons two Politicians had a brief conversation which focused on the proposed Parliamentary Works sponsor body. One of them was Sally-Ann Hart who is the MP for Hastings and Rye. The responses to her came from Damian Hinds who is the MP for East Hampshire and was previously the Secretary of State for Education. It was not clear from the website why Damian Hinds was responding to the calls from Sally-Ann Hart. The only Committee I was able to find was called Parliamentary Works Estimate and Damian Hinds is not part of that Committee. There were also no Committees with reference to Renewal or Restoration. However Sally-Ann and Damian did speak about important issues when it comes to the way the restoration and renewal will take place. Let us hope that the two MPs will be working to assist businesses in the whole of Hampshire and the whole of Sussex, that is particularly relevant given that Sally-Ann Hart was speaking on the day after Sussex Day. The discussion is available here and as follows
S-A Hart: What assessment that body has made of the procurement opportunities for businesses in Hastings and Rye constituency as part of the restoration and renewal programme.
D Hinds: Restoring Parliament will benefit businesses in the UK, using UK materials wherever possible and creating jobs and apprenticeships nationwide—including, I hope, in my hon. Friend’s constituency—in fields from engineering and high-tech design to traditional crafts such as carpentry and stonemasonry.
S-A Hart: The restoration and renewal programme will cost billions, but at the same time it will employ thousands of British people. The Sponsor Body is required to procure and manage the contractors and supply chain. Does my right hon. Friend agree that, in doing so, it can help towards delivering the Government’s levelling-up agenda by ensuring that businesses, contractors and so on from our more deprived socioeconomic areas across the UK have real equality of opportunity to access the variety of employment opportunities afforded by the programme?
D Hinds: Absolutely; my hon. Friend is quite right. The programme is currently developing its supply chain plans to help to ensure that the benefits of the programme are felt across the country. There is also an innovative loan scheme for apprentices to be employed by the programme and then loaned to businesses working on the restoration, and dozens of young people from more disadvantaged areas will be offered paid internships and placements in a partnership with the Social Mobility Foundation.