Milton Keynes MPs support campaign to ‘keep trade local’

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City MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart have backed a campaign by the Federation of Small Businesses called ‘Keep Trade Local’.

The campaign has been designed to get people using independent businesses on high streets around the country.

In addition ‘Keep Trade Local’ will be raising awareness and showing how important high streets are to a town or city’s community.

The Federation of Small Business will be lobbying local authorities on three key issues: parking, planning and procurement.

According to the FSB website all three areas are key to the success of a high street. Planning in particular is an issue with “nearly 70 per cent of members said that small businesses have to wait more than the maximum of eight weeks for local authorities to decide minor planning applications.”

Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, said: “Independent retailers are really the heart of a high street. After hearing from the FSB what they want to achieve I was more than happy to give my backing to the campaign.

“We need to make sure high streets are vibrant and diverse. To do that we need restriction on parking reduced, we need easier planning processes and we need councils making a conscious effort to invest in local SMEs.”

MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, said: “With the economy doing well, high streets are in better shape. We are lucky to have some fantastic high streets such as Stony Stratford and Woburn Sands.

“However, there are also high streets such as Queensway, Bletchley, which we need to get back on its feet.

“The aims of this project are key to achieving that. Local authorities need to cut bureaucracy and give independent traders the best possible opportunities for success.

“I hope the local authority will listen to the FSB and engage with how best to allow our high streets to thrive.”