I am campaigning for:
A less burdensome system for business rates to ensure high streets can compete with online retailers.
I have supported the government's efforts to reduce business rates for retailers with a rateable value under £51,000 by a third as a vital measure to support the sustainability of high street retailers. I have also recently lobbied the Government to continue the business rates retention pilot in London to ensure that local communities benefit from the business rates collected locally.
The retention of key local services to keep our high streets busy.
I have made representations to Ministers and worked with banks themselves to support the ongoing presence of bank branches and services on the high street. I have also campaigned for the retention of Post Office services around the constituency and led a campaign for the maintained branch at Hornchurch to remain open.
The linking of our local Jobcentre to key local employers and skills providers.
My team and I held our first Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair at Queen's Theatre in February 2020 to match local businesses to job seekers and school leavers with the right skills. We also held an Older People's Fair to promote care and support services, community groups and local businesses to people looking to have happy and healthy retirements.
The promotion of our shops and high streets.
I have set up the Upminster Traders Group and been working with the Hornchurch Town Team, local Chambers of Commerce and Hornchurch Plus to provide a voice for shopkeepers and SMEs to central government and Havering Council. We have promoted local businesses at our Export Hub and Older People's Fair events, brought senior politicians like Boris Johnson and Liam Fox to our town centres to celebrate Small Business Saturday and highlight export opportunities, and pushed for changes to business taxes.
Locally, we campaigned to highlight shopkeepers' and residents' worries about the cost of parking in our town centres and pushed for higher visibility policing operations to deter anti-social behaviour and crime in our town centres.