Milton Keynes Chamber calls on the borough’s parliamentary candidates to address the fundamentals

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Chamber member businesses are urging prospective parliamentary candidates to address the fundamentals of doing business during the course of the election campaign.

Last month’s announcement by the Prime Minster Theresa May, is yet another unwelcome distraction for businesses at a time of heightened uncertainty following the UK’s decision to leave the EU back in June 2016, according to members of Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.

Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “Whilst this General Election will inevitably be centred around Brexit and competing visions as to what shape negotiations should take and the UK’s place in the world post-Brexit. We would strongly urge the next Government to focus on the fundamentals, which immediately impact local firms and their ability to do business.

“Perennial issues such as connectivity, skills shortages, recruitment difficulties, the up-front costs of doing business, and support for exporters are first and foremost on the minds of business leaders across the borough. All of which currently have a greater impact on their ability grow and generate jobs, vital for the continued success of Milton Keynes.

“Milton Keynes has a vast-array of key assets including its strategic location, a wealth of globally recognised brands, and below national average unemployment. However, the continued growth of the borough is hindered by numerous threats comprising inadequate broadband and digital connectivity including both 4G and 5G, poor East-West connectivity across both the road and rail network and insufficient housing supply.

“Furthermore, the continued increase in up-front costs for businesses including the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, the national living wage, business rates and insurance premiums needs to be curtailed. In order for businesses to remain competitive, the burden of doing business needs to be minimised.”

Finally, the Chamber has called on prospective parliamentary candidates to deliver on proposals that are already in the pipeline, such as the Industrial Strategy, and to heed the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Commission’s findings on the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Growth Corridor. Continuing to build on these two initiatives will go some way to addressing the borough’s aforementioned threats.

Addressing these local fundamentals will, in the Chamber’s opinion, enable firms to be better placed as they continue to grow and develop, as well as competing with their counterparts throughout the UK, and Internationally.