Meeting Robert Courts MP
Business leaders gathered at STL Communications in Witney on Friday 9th December to meet our new MP Robert Courts. A cross section of local organisations were invited, representing business across manufacturing and production to technology and professional services.
The round table discussion highlighted areas of concern for local businesses and gave Robert an insight into the issues in his constituency. Topics included frustrations with the planning process for house builders and for the many building product suppliers in the district, as well as for businesses trying to expand with new developments and larger factories. Lack of, or difficulties in, obtaining business finance was also discussed at length.
Transport links and the strategy for easier access to West Oxfordshire for goods, supplies and people was a hot topic. Improvements to the road and rail links were cited as a reason for hampering investment in the area by businesses, both existing and those looking move. The transport strategy for the future is of key interest to businesses keen to stay and grow in the district.
Brendon Cross, STL’s MD, who facilitated the discussion said, “It was good to hear Robert taking on board the concerns that many local businesses have. I am sure that he will endeavour to address them all as he becomes more established as our MP. West Oxfordshire is a vibrant hub of successful businesses which bring employment to the area but future growth and development could be made easier.”
Robert Courts, MP said, “Meeting with small business owners from my constituency is such an important part of being a Member of Parliament. West Oxfordshire needs these businesses to thrive. It was so helpful to meet face to face and discuss the issues they are experiencing and to see what I can do to help. I will continue to fight to encourage growth in business in West Oxfordshire, and build on the great community already in place.”
Peter Smith of The MGroup was a key contributor to the discussions, using the opportunity to ask Robert lots of challenging questions. Peter commented, “The meeting highlighted many of the key policy issues in West Oxfordshire and enabled good discussions around these areas. There was a real energy in the room and it was great to meet our new MP.”
Robert found the event to be a very worthwhile way of finding out what concerns West Oxfordshire business and how best he can help them, so consequently it will be repeated in 2017.