Worcester Bosch Expansion Displays Optimism Needed To See Us Through Recession - Worcester News

My life as an MP is never routine – even in my seventeenth year representing Worcestershire. For example, this week the Israeli Ambassador asked to meet me in my role as Chairman of the Business and Enterprise committee to discuss British-Israeli economic relations.
We met in my office in Parliament, and I used the opportunity to express the concerns of my constituents about Israeli action in Gaza. Given the recent controversies his country has been involved in, I was surprised the Ambassador had time to think about anything else.

Yet despite decades of uncertainty, and the evermore fragile roadmap-to-peace, I was impressed that his country was still looking forward optimistically to a brighter economic future for Israel and all its neighbours.

The meeting reminded me that we in the UK should also look forward. The recession is biting hard, and is likely to sink its teeth in even deeper; 2009 is likely to be one of the most difficult in living memory.

But I was also reminded that we should be looking forward with some optimism by the announcement from local energy company Worcester Bosch. Their plans to create 1,000 new jobs by relocating to a new site near Junction Six of the M5 are good news indeed. Worcester Bosch is already a big local employer, and the new site will mean that the county retains and increases the firm’s important manufacturing presence.

At a time when businesses are struggling because of the credit crunch, I am delighted this company is going from strength to strength. I know some of my constituents in Tibberton and Crowle will have reservations, but I do hope they will go to the exhibition on Friday and Saturday and see for themselves what is planned – it’s really good news for Worcestershire.

So, although times are tough they will get better, and it is up to politicians like me to make sure this happens sooner rather than later.

On Wednesday I introduced a Bill in the Commons that would make rate relief automatic for all small businesses, instead of the current system with businesses having to apply for it. This already happens in Wales – why not in England too?

Making these payments automatic would ensure businesses get the money they are entitled – at present only half of them apply. It would be a boost to small businesses and cut costs to those local authorities that actively advertise the availability of the rate relief.


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