The Government has given £1.4 million to the Express & Star and the University of Wolverhampton's "Green Shoots fund" to create jobs and growth across the Black Country.
The money comes from a successful bid by the two organizations to the Government's regional growth fund in October 2012, which supports projects and programmes using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
The Green Shoots fund, which was launched today, will be used to give financial support to small and medium- sized companies in areas such as advanced manufacturing, building technologies, transport technologies, environmental technologies and business services. They will be able to apply for grants worth up to £50,000 each.
Paul said "The Regional Growth Fund is a £2.6bn fund designed to promote economic growth and create jobs. The first 3 rounds attracted over £13bn of private sector funding and created or assured over half a million jobs.
This funding will go a long way in the Black Country. We have already seen Jaguar Land Rover locate in Wolverhampton, and The Green Shoots fund will help support those small and medium sized businesses looking to expand. They are the lifeblood of the regional economy and I am glad to see this government working in partnership with local organisations to support economic growth and job creation."
Paul attended Giffard Primary School today to support the British Heart Foundation's 'Heartstart' Schools Programme.
Established for young people aged ten and over, the Programme teaches children emergency life support skills such as CPR, dealing with choking, calling 999 and the recovery position. Paul met with Year Six pupils who have been taking part in the Programme, along with Ian Painter of BHF and Phil Jevon of the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, who also works as a 'Heartstart' Training Supervisor.
"It is very important that these life support skills are taught, as you never know when they will have to be put in to practise", said Paul. "I was impressed with the children's enthusiasm today and I hope that every school will engage in the Heartstart Programme."
Paul is encouraging Wolverhampton residents to have their say on the proposed extension of the Metro in the city centre.
As part of regeneration in the City Centre, Centro want to extend the line to include new stops at the bus and railway stations. This will include a new fleet of state-of-the-art trams and will be fully integrated into the Wolverhampton Interchange project. The line proposed will run along Piper's Row, but there may be some services that will continue to terminate at St George's Stop on Bilston Street at certain times of the day.
A public consultation is open until the 31st May 2013, allowing residents to have their say in how often services should terminate at St George's. Comments can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org , or in writing to Metro Consultation, Centro, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD. Further information can be found on Centro's website at www.centro.org.uk/metro
Paul said "This proposed extension of the Metro will be part of welcome regeneration in our city. I would therefore encourage residents who use the Metro regularly to get in touch with Centro to provide their opinions, so that they can be taken into account as this project moves forward."
On Friday 10 May, Paul visited the Carillion head office in Wolverhampton to see how the integrated support services provider is promoting local apprenticeship and job training opportunities.
The locally based company is one of the largest employers in the region.
Last year Carillion supported the Wolverhampton Jobs and Skills fair organised by Paul at the Molineux Stadium, which attracted around 1,500 job seekers who were able to speak with and get advice from organisations like Carillion, Jaguar Land Rover and Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.
During his visit to the Birch Street office Mr Uppal met staff and senior managers responsible for delivering a range of training programmes. He heard how Carillion provided 19 work placements last year for students across Wolverhampton, and that 36 local homeless people had been given work experience opportunities through Carillion's partnership with the Business in the Community's Ready for Work programme.
Carillion's sustainability team also gave an update on how locally based staff contributed almost 640 hours of their time supporting young people and local schools. These and similar efforts have just been recognized by Business in the Community which has just awarded Carillion Platinum Big Tick Company status in the charity's Corporate Responsibility Index.
Mr Paul said: "I was delighted to visit Carillion to see how they support their local community and the leading role they are playing in training. Providing our young people with the skills and confidence they need to gain employment is vital and I will certainly be looking to Carillion and other leading businesses in this region to help develop a deliver a range of training and apprenticeship initiatives that I have planned over the coming months and years."
Dean Smith, Carillion's Head of Academy, added: "We are extremely proud of our Wolverhampton roots and welcomed this opportunity to show how our training academy and apprenticeship schemes work and indeed how they can be rolled out locally. It was also useful to explain that by working in partnership with training providers, colleges and our large supply chain we can
offer highly valuable and relevant work placements far beyond our own direct operations."
On Friday Paul attended the re-launch of Wolverhampton's Age UK centre, Formerly Age Concern, in Darlington Street, City Centre. The centre will now be dedicated to offering advice and support for local older people.
Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint opened the centre, Wolverhampton MPs Pat McFadden and Emma Reynolds also attended the event.
Paul said "Age UK already offers an important service to many older residents across Wolverhampton and I was extremely impressed by my visit to the refurbished centre today. The centre is now open plan making it much more accessible, there is confidential space to discuss personal issues and provision for a computer area so that people can have individual support on how to use the internet and email.
This is great news to all those who already benefit greatly from the services provided by Age UK Wolverhampton. The staff are both committed and passionate and I hope constituents make the most of the services that they offer."
On Friday 3 May, Paul met with service users at Warstones Resource Centre. Paul discussed concerns over the future of the site as part of a campaign to protect libraries and community centers across Wolverhampton South West.
As part of Wolverhampton City Council's Community Service Hubs consultation, the cabinet voted for day services at Warstones to be moved to other sites across the city as well as the closure of respite bed provision. Further consultation is still to take place as to whether the site will become a community hub and absorb Warstones library services.
Paul said "Earlier this year, I submitted my views to the consultation to convey concerns over the loss of these services and to highlight the views of people that cherish these services and rely on them as part of their day to day lives. I have visited the centre several times and it was good to hear first hand peoples' thoughts and feelings again today.
"It is clear that service users value the sense of community that Warstones provides. It is a safe, sheltered place where people can spend an hour or two and receive a hot meal, which as one lady told me, would be the only cooked meal she would have during the day.
"Since my last visit, a number of people have written to me with their views and experiences of the centre, I would like to hear more views on the future of Warstones and invite anyone with comments or thoughts to write to me at Paul Uppal MP, Gresham Chambers, 2nd Floor, 14 Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DG or email at email@example.com."
In light of the disappointing news that the Indian Supreme Court has denied Professor Bhullar's plea for mercy I wish to update you on progress that I have made. Last week I met and spoke with William Hague, The Foreign Secretary, to discuss this important and pressing matter. Following this conversation I am hopeful of a constructive dialogue between the British and Indian Governments which will advance compassionate sentiments on this most sensitive of issues.
In regards to the death penalty, the Government is clear that the protection of human rights is central to its foreign policy. In an answer to a written question, the then Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Jeremy Browne, stated that he had written to the Indian High commissioner reiterating the UK Government's strong opposition to the death penalty and urged the Indian authorities not to break their seven-year de facto moratorium on the death penalty. He also raised concerns with then Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, and with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur.
I wholly endorse the position that The British Government is taking in continuing to urge the Government of India to establish a formal moratorium as a first step towards the abolition of the death penalty in India. It is the longstanding policy of successive British Governments to strongly oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle.
As you may be aware, earlier this year, I raised this issue with the Indian High Commissioner in order to convey the strength of feeling that many British Sikhs feel about this case. I personally feel that this whole issue represents a running sore that many British Sikhs feel in relation to massacres in 1984. In order to bring reconciliation, it is important for the Indian Government
Paul visited Wolverhampton Girl's School today to answer the questions of Year 8 pupils on a variety of issues affecting Wolverhampton.
Questions put to Paul included the regeneration of the city centre, support for charities, facilities for cyclists and leisure activities for young people. He also took questions from several pupils about safety on buses and at bus stops, and he will now be writing to Centro to highlight their concerns.
"I was very pleased to see that these pupils are engaged with local issues and want to see improvements in our city", said Paul. "Some of the girls raised important concerns with me, which I will be taking action on and doing what I can to help. I'll also be writing to the Council to see how we can make life easier for cyclists in Wolverhampton."
Paul visited the Queen's Square Branch of Ladbrokes in the City Centre today as they prepared for one of their busines weekends of the year.
Ahead of the John Smith's Grand National, Paul met with the store's Manager Jez and District Manager Trish Jackson; who talked about how Ladbrokes promotes responsible gambling. This includes information in all stores on how to obtain help with gambling issues, and a self-exclusion policy for those who recognise that they have a problem. Ladbroke's website also has facilities for customers to limit their spending.
Paul said: "Many people enjoy gambling as a leiure activity; however for some it can become an addiction. I am pleased to see that Ladbrokes have put measures in place to help customers gamble responsibly. This weekend will undoubtedly be a busy one for the store, and it is good to see the business doing well."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has cancelled Labour's planned fuel duty rise in today's Budget, saving 3.5 million motorists in the West Midlands over £170 every year.
Because of the action we have taken, pump prices will now be 13 pence per litre lower than if Labour were in power. For a Vauxhall Astra that is £7 less every time families fill up the tank – or £9 less for a Mondeo. A van driver will save £340 per year and a haulier will save £5,200 per year.
Fuel duty will now have been frozen for nearly three and half years - the longest freeze in duty for over 20 years.
Paul welcomed the news, saying:
"This is a Budget that is delivering for families who want to work hard and get on in life."
"Scrapping another of Labour's planned fuel duty increases will make a huge difference to motorists in Wolverhampton."
"This Government has frozen fuel duty for three and a half years - longer than any Government in the last two decades - and saving the average family £7 every time they fill up their car."
Welcome. My name is Paul Uppal and I am the Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West.
I hope that this website will keep you up to date with what I am doing for the people of Wolverhampton both in the constituency and in Westminster.
PAUL UPPAL MP
Paul Uppal MP
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
020 7219 7195
020 7219 5221 (fax)
Paul Uppal MP
14 Lichfield Street
01902 712 134
01902 238 931(fax)