September’s meeting with Sally-Ann Hart

Hastings & Rye MP, Sally-Ann Hart, joined Hastings Chamber members at their September meeting to discuss local business challenges, and share their views on what the government needs to do to help them develop and grow. We welcomed her back for the first time in almost two years following her successful re-election as the Conservative candidate for the next election.

After a morning of networking, Chamber members were seated and saw the results from a survey of members sent out prior to the meeting regarding their local concerns, and overall challenges to their business.

Sally-Ann began her presentation by reaffirming the then Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s, plan in March 2021 – “Building Back Better” – which intended to focus on supporting economic growth through significant investment in infrastructure, skills, and innovation. It also plans to pursue growth that levels up every part of the UK, enabling the transition to net zero, and supporting the overall vision for Global Britain.

“The Government is working hard to increase its share in world trade, truly making us Global Britain, giving our businesses the opportunity to flourish and our economy grow.”

— Sally-Ann Hart, Hastings & Rye MP

Continuing on from this, she discussed various support schemes introduced to assist businesses during the pandemic such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), and their commitment to significant infrastructure investments including the construction of new roads, railways, and broadband networks, aiming to boost economic growth, and creating business opportunities following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Another key point of her presentation was to help develop skills, whether that’s through work experience, apprenticeships, upskilling existing staff, or taking on new staff, to improve and address skills gaps in the workforce.

On top of navigating ways in which businesses can overcome the barriers between the different languages used between business and colleges “We’ve got a slight culture change in that, we’ve got to look at opportunities and make it a good experience for them to be able to actually want to work in those sectors” – Sally-Ann Hart, Hastings & Rye MP

Ending the presentation with a Q&A, members were invited to ask questions to Sally-Ann on business initiatives and her future plans. There was much comment and practical examples given on the overly onerous impact of ‘red tape’ on micro and small businesses; often in an apparent ‘one size’ fits all approach by the government, and regularly from civil servants who appear not to understand why or what they are asking for being able to apply common sense. She answered these in the limited time available and has offered to explore a range of regulatory issues business face at a future meeting.

Thank you to our members for joining us at this meeting, and to Hastings Centre for hosting us! To find out more about our upcoming meetings and booking your spot, visit our Events page.