SHAILESH Vara met with local business owners in Ramsey where he heard first-hand some of the concerns affecting small businesses, including the need for less bureaucracy and quicker decisions when it comes to planning applications.
A wide range of topics was discussed including a need for better provision of vocational courses in education to encourage young people to consider a professional trade. All agreed on the importance of developing renewable energy sources while recognising the equally important need for sites to be established in the 'right' locations.
The poor condition of roads in and around Ramsey was a particular concern, affecting the wider community as well as visitors who might be put off, to the detriment of local services and shops. Ideally potholes should be filled in a more timely manner using quality materials and equipment to avoid repeat problems.
Afterwards Shailesh told us: "Local businesses are the lifeblood of our small towns and villages, providing employment and playing a key role not only in the success and prosperity of the local economy but also creating a harmonious and inclusive community for mutual benefit. A number of issues, local and national, were raised and where possible both Steve and I will certainly be following up."
The informal coffee morning was hosted by Ramsey district councillor Steve Corney who said: "I was pleased to introduce Shailesh to some of our Ramsey business owners and show that he is here to listen and help if they should need assistance. We look forward to arranging a further session in the new year."
Photo: Shailesh Vara (right) with Chris Aubin, Tom Bedford, Shane Howell, Ed Hunter-Dodds, Cllr Steve Corney and Andy Hamilton.