Local Government News May 2018
One of my roles at Wealden Council, which also overlaps with County Council work is the coordination of support for local businesses.
My view is that Councils should not get too involved in business activities and certainly not get in the way of commercial activity. However, we can be helpful in a number of ways.
Wealden arranges training courses, talks and mentoring for small businesses usually in cooperation with Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Business. One current topic of concern for many companies is the application of the new data protection laws, the General Data Protection Regulations. These are aimed at increasing personal privacy but involve more red tape for all organisations, public and private.
We have already held a Business Breakfast on this topic and on June 13th we are holding a further training session in the early evening, hopefully at a convenient time for business owners.
A huge amount of our local employment depends on small and medium sized businesses. In some circumstances, grants and loans are available whether for start-ups or struggling businesses. South East Business Boost has access to nearly £1m of government, County and EU money. Applications are assessed by business experts rather than politicians. The emphasis is on creating jobs and over 70 new jobs have been created in East Sussex using these grants. Care is, of course, taken to make sure that these new jobs are not at the expense of the competition.
We also have a programme of grants for rural businesses again from EU money. This is called the LEADER programme and I am on the board which agrees grants for projects which support farm diversification, rural tourism and forestry.
Your local Councillors.
Roy Galley. firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Roundell. email@example.com
Michael Lunn. Cllr.firstname.lastname@example.org
Toby Illingworth email@example.com