Answering Back: Mark Lancaster MP
With the economic climate dominating this Parliament, OlneyOnline asked local MP Mark Lancaster what the government is doing to back business:
"I think the Government is doing its best to persuade the banks to start lending again which is absolutely vital if we are to encourage growth and prosperity. Meanwhile they are putting together a package of measures to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
In fact, I asked a question in Parliament last week about help for small businesses. The minister responded saying the Government is looking at a way to make small business rate relief automatic. On pressing him further I find that powers are hoping to devolve powers to local authorities to allow them to dictate their own relief rates, and I look forward to hearing the details.
Meanwhile, on the larger scale, Milton Keynes has just become part of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Essentially we are replacing regional government, and the mountains of bureaucracy that go with it, with the expertise, vision and dynamism of local business to drive forward economic growth. I think it’s great that the Coalition has recognised that businessmen and businesswomen, rather than quangocrats, are the ones who are best placed to shape our region’s recovery from recession alongside our local authorities. "
So what would Mr.Lancaster say to anyone thinking of setting up a business in this climate; is recession actually an opportunity for the brave?
"Being involved in a small business myself – my family’s firework manufacturers in nearby Kimbolton – I know what it is like when businesses fall on hard times. But I believe it is imperative that we continue to see new enterprise being created. I am determined to do everything I can to encourage business people to come to Milton Keynes, after all this is the ideal place for them to set up their enterprise. After all, the Centre for Cities thinktank’s Cities Outlook 2010 reveals that Milton Keynes is the place with the third highest number of ‘business births’, behind London and Grimsby. Long may it continue to hold such a position. So I would say to would-be entrepreneurs: find your niche, find a good base, and go for it."
Mr. Lancaster is performing the opening at the Olney and North Bucks Business Fair, so we asked what he thought was useful about these events...
"I am delighted to be given the opportunity to open the Olney and North Bucks Business Fair at the Olney Centre on November 26th.
I think it is vital that such events take place, not only to allow business leaders to mix with colleagues from different sectors, but also to celebrate the great achievements. After all, although business thrives on competition, the clout of businesses when they join forces (as I said when discussing the LEPs) can be great.
Plus, Olney is my home, and as someone who benefits from the many great shops and services we have here, I am delighted to be able to do my bit."
The MP gave OlneyOnline an insight into A Day In His Life - to read more click here.
The photo shows Mr.Lancaster officially opening the Food Box scheme, a Tyringham-based firm delivering to people’s doors.