Westminster Diary - May
Supporting rural business is an absolute priority for me and this one of the many issues discussed at the Stoke Ferry Agricultural Dinner which I attended last month in the Downham Market Town Hall.
It really is great to see what is being achieved across South West Norfolk. For example the Bedingfield Arms in Oxborough, which was re-opened three years ago, now offers employment to 15 local people. The owners of the Bedingfield even knocked on doors in the village to highlight the employment opportunities. The former coaching inn is attracting customers from all over the world, mainly by word of mouth, and is sourcing local produce like asparagus from Beachamwell, Scotts Field Pork from Oxborough and Norfolk Cordial . This part of Norfolk offers a wealth of historic interest; the National Trust Oxburgh Hall, the stunning and varied scenery of the Brecks not to mention the fantastic food from this region. I am keen to ensure that continued support is given so that businesses like this can expand and that there are job opportunities available locally in rural communities. Measures announced recently like the reduction in business rates, fuel duty freeze plus details given by David Cameron to extend the apprenticeship programme, 50000 start up loans to be available, no tax to be paid on the minimum wage and 30 hours free child care all create the right conditions for a thriving rural economy.'