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 are currently in the process of arranging a Jobs Fair in Hornchurch in November 2019 where the Jobcentre and job seekers will be able to liaise with a variety of local employers and training providers. I was pleased that our local Jobcentre also attended our first Older People's Fair where they were able to meet with community groups that support older people, many of whom are still able and willing to participate in the workforce.
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 are campaigning to highlight shopkeepers' and residents' worries about the cost of parking in our town centres and pushing for higher visibility policing operations to deter anti-social behaviour and crime in our town centres. Following extensive correspondence with the Council, we have secured a sequence of meetings for local traders with the Leader of the Council, so that they may put their concerns to him directly and I have lobbied the Local Government Minister for increased financial support to councils. We have also facilitated knife arch operations at our stations with the British Transport Police.