Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie arranged for the Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen to visit Dursley to meet with local businesses and dignitaries.
The minister and MP walked along the high street on Friday, meeting with retailers including Durcan’s Hardware store owner Paul Durcan. This business has been in Dursley for 65 years. The group discussed business rates, shops closing and importing goods post-Brexit.
The politicians also met with the town council’s deputy mayor Mandy Woodward and one of the trustees of Rush skatepark Debbie Bird where they discussed the plans for funding a new Rush that is needed for young people to have this facility locally.
“It is not every day you have such a senior figure who is in charge of the country’s purse strings here in Dursley meeting with local people and discussing some of the issues that matter to us,” said Ms Baillie.
“It is important the Chief Secretary to the Treasury hears from people directly so he understands some of the pressures. Business rates, the cost of energy and rising prices are having a big impact on independent retailers and the economy here in our part of Gloucestershire.
“I was particularly pleased to be able to push our Rush skatepark plans to the top of government and discuss my views about regenerating Dursley high street. I know the minister found it useful and I thank him for coming and for all those who stopped to talk to him.”
The minister added: “I had a very interesting day in the Stroud constituency hearing from local people, politicians and businesses about the economic climate and how the government’s covid and energy support has helped but also about the challenges we are all facing with the cost of living.
“Thank you to Siobhan for inviting me to hear these views.”