The Chamber will be writing to our MP, Jeremy Hunt, requesting a meeting to brief him on the issues affecting local businesses and asking for his input on several key areas for our members. We know that the support and engagement of our local MP can help bring confidence to local businesses, ensuring they continue trading for the benefit of the local community, and by extension, the national economy. The main issues and concerns highlighted by our members over the last year include:
- The current system of business rates and taxes does not work and needs changing. This might include looking at introducing a tax regime on online trading companies to bring about a more level playing field between high street and online retailers.
- Chamber members would welcome a swift end to ongoing national economic uncertainty as a result of stalling Brexit negotiations and the general election. The results from our Business Barometer demonstrate how this ongoing uncertainty about Brexit is causing concern about opportunities for growth and hampering confidence.
- Members would like to see a new focus improving local infrastructure such as road, bus and rail systems (especially for passengers), car parking and the use of technology.
- Crime and security are key issues for members with a desire to see an increase in police resources to help tackle increasing local crime rates that have a significant impact on businesses and residents alike.
We welcome further input from Chamber members on these priority areas and are committed to doing our very best to act as a conduit for member views.