Today (Thursday) I am hosting my fourth annual Dudley South Jobs and Careers Fair at Brierley Hill Civic Hall. There will be a range of employers attending from various sectors with hundreds of vacancies on offer.

Parliament returned last week and there was a feeling of determination flowing through the corridors of Westminster. In just under 200 days we will have legally left the European Union – no ‘ifs’ and no ‘buts’. This week the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, openly stated the terms of the UK’s withdrawal could be agreed within the next six to weeks weeks and I think this is a wholly sensible timeframe. I know the Prime Minister will continue to push for a free trade agreement with the EU over the coming months to secure the best possible future for this country post-Brexit.

I am continuing to work hard with my colleagues as Private Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for International Trade to ensure we are in the best possible position to strike free trade deals with countries across the world as soon as possible.

Back in Dudley South, many of my constituents will have been alarmed at the ongoing situation at Russells Hall Hospital with the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report continuing to rate the hospital’s A&E Department as ‘inadequate’. I met with the chief executive of the Dudley trust and the senior leadership team at Russells Hall last Friday with other local MPs to receive an update on the situation. I am confident the management and leadership team have now accepted the hospital’s failings and are working hard to put things right. A lot of Russells Hall’s problems have been over-played in the media recently and I think we need to give the trust time to work with NHS Improvement and other bodies to sort things out for good. I will continue to represent my constituents’ views in these meetings as we all work towards getting the hospitals’ services back up to the standards we all expect.

On Tuesday I received a response from Lord Bourne, the Planning Minister, in response to my letter calling for Dudley Council to be allowed to get on with creating an authorised transit camp in Coseley so the police and council can immediately move on unauthorised encampments like those that have recently set up in Woodside, Netherton and Withymoor.

The Government has dismissed the objection lodged by Pat McFadden MP to the council’s decision to create the transit site. That means Dudley Council can now proceed and we can make sure that local residents should not have to put up with those irresponsible and anti-social traveller groups that have caused problems again this summer.

As soon as the transit site goes live, the police will have powers to move travellers on immediately which will come as very welcome news to many of my constituents and is excellent for the Dudley borough as a whole.