Julie Marson MP: Get spending in Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth to help get Britain moving once more
Julie Marson, MP for Hertford and Stortford, writes for the Bishop's Stortford Independent...
The sight of shops and businesses reopening across the constituency and buyers taking to the streets with enthusiasm has been a cause for celebration for so many of us who are itching to see our local and national economies bounce back and thrive.
With many businesses set to resume – as close to usual practice as possible – and high street shops reopening their doors for the first time since the coronavirus crisis began, the nation's mood can start to lift and we can really start to get Britain moving once more.
However, among the jubilation and hope for a fresh start, we must remember that the road ahead will not be straightforward and there may be bumps along the way as the challenge is enormous.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has made clear that we should expect a turbulent time as business slowly finds its feet again, but there is something we can all do now to make a big difference – get spending.
With so many fantastic shops to choose from in Bishop's Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and across the constituency, I hope everyone will join me in getting out there to support local businesses and make them a core part of where we start buying all the things we have missed out on for so long.
Each of us will have our own special something we have missed most during this period, and now is the moment to finally indulge ourselves if we can.
A silver lining of the past few months has been the opportunity the crisis has given for many of us to take stock and think deeply about the future of Britain's economy.
For decades, the traditional financial sector and oil companies have led British business and often been our greatest wealth creators, but as technology advances and consumer preferences change, it is unlikely that these will be the industries which are the great success stories of the next 10 and 20 years. They have been through their periods of high growth and now face a challenge for supremacy from emerging technology sectors like green energy, automation and fintech.
It will be these fledgling, high-growth industries of the future that generate the most new wealth over the next decade, and so more of our attention and support should be refocused on helping these industries grow in Britain. This is the issue I raised with the Prime Minister at PMQs in the Commons recently and I am pleased to say he agreed wholeheartedly.
The UK has traditionally been a world leader when it comes to inventing the next game-changing gadget or product, but not quite as effective at scaling those ideas and creating big business with a global footprint. Entrepreneurs and businesses have too often felt they must either sell to a foreign investor or move abroad for the business to reach its true potential. Therefore, as we embark on our 'Global Britain' mission, we must work out how to foster an environment which enables invention AND propels sectors of the future into the business stratosphere.
As an established economy, the competition faced by Britain from emerging markets in Asia and Africa will only intensify, and so we must find a way to maintain our place at the centre of global innovation and growth.
In Hertford and Stortford, we are especially well placed to lead the charge and capitalise on its gains, because of the existing talent we already have in these fields. We also benefit from excellent geographical proximity to technology hot spots, growth corridors and national and international transport links.
With other MPs, I have begun work looking into various initiatives and recommendations that will be made to the Government aimed at supporting the long-term health of our economy. In this paper, we will set out focus areas and investments we believe should be made to support local businesses, drive growth in the regions and provide better life chances for everyone, regardless of who they are or in what circumstance they began life.
Going hand in hand with work I am doing with East Herts Council to bring new life to our local community and high streets, I look forward to sharing with you updates and news of our progress over the months ahead.
We will face tough times both locally and nationally, but I am determined to re-energise our local economy and provide every support necessary to bring new and even greater prosperity to Bishop's Stortford, Hertford, Ware, Sawbridgeworth and all of our surrounding villages.
As ever, my office is open to provide any assistance you may require. Due to the volume of critical cases, we must prioritise those most in need. You can find responses to many campaigns and policy statements on my website, but please do email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.