Clive Hannis, Andy Hawkins, Parmjit Dhanda and Mark Owen.

Gloucester FSB group meets Parmjit Dhanda MP to discuss problems facing city firms

The Gloucester Branch of the Federation of Small Businesses met city Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda, to discuss some of the crucial problems facing the business community.

The three-man FSB delegation led by branch chairman Mark Owen, called the meeting to discuss their concerns over a number of issues.

These included crime, the proposed closure of Hempsted Bridge, waste collection costs and education and training issues, all of which affect small businesses.

“It was a very positive and constructive meeting and Parmjit was extremely supportive of our aims to help small businesses,” said Mark.

“We discussed the considerable effect and costs of crime, the cost of environmental issues such as waste collection and the knock on effect on local businesses if the planned closure of Hempsted Bridge forces the closure of the village post office, as is likely."

“We also talked about the financial costs to businesses of taking on school students on work experience placements due to health and safety compliance and other bureaucracy.”

“I think this meeting served to underline the important lobbying role the FSB has in collectively championing causes which affect small businesses.

“We appreciate there is only so much an MP can do, but informed dialogue with us can only strengthen his hand in tackling issues affecting the business community.

Mark was accompanied by FSB city branch vice chairman Andy Hawkins and committee member, Clive Hannis.

Clive Hannis said: “We are grateful to Parmjit for taking the time to see us. It was obvious he has a good grasp of all the issues we discussed and we have agreed to have regular update meetings to keep in touch.”

Parmjit said: "It was an extremely useful meeting. A key element to Gloucester's future success will be to ensure small businesses thrive. I look forward to regular meetings with the FSB so we can keep up this quality dialogue".

Mark Owen added: “There are tremendous benefits to being an FSB member including free legal advice, free legal and professional insurance to protect your business activities, discounted telephone and free banking services and many other business and social benefits.

“The Federation gives local businesses a united voice. Together with our 430 members we can make a real difference working together. After all it’s whoever shouts the loudest gets heard. Local authorities and individual councillors have to at least listen to our members and hopefully take action accordingly.”