Windsor’s small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and it’s vital that we do all we can to support them. That is why I am delighted that Saturday 7th December this year is ‘Small Business Day’ – a day dedicated to showcasing the fantastic work of our small businesses, and to create new opportunities for growth by encouraging people to shop locally.
Adam campaigning to support local businesses
We are attracting significant investment projects in Windsor, and more and more businesses are starting up in the area. In the last three years alone 58,350 new businesses have launched successfully in the South East of England, and that number continues to rise.
Supporting businesses is vital to drive the growth that this country needs, and I am pleased that the Government has taken significant steps to improve the experiences of companies, particularly new and small businesses who in the past have had to tackle much red tape and bureaucracy. The previous government left us with a legacy of red-tape and confusing taxes which frustrate the efforts of our businesses to achieve their full growth potential.
Insensitive over-development of our area is one of my key concerns for Ascot, Sunninghill, Sunningdale and across the constituency. That’s why I’m delighted that the Ascot and Sunnings Neighbourhood Plan looks set to be adopted after residents voted in its favour at the referendum earlier this month.
Neighbourhood plans are an excellent tool to help ensure any developments are in keeping with local wishes, and I am delighted to have supported the Localism Act as it made it’s way through parliament. Local plans allow local authorities to guide development in the area and, having looked closely at the plan, I’m pleased to see that it is well balanced; calling for development of the high street but against a backdrop that it does not damage or destroy the leafy and picturesque landscape we enjoy. It seems to me it’s a good plan that would allow the building of some additional housing but only in line with increasing and improving local services and infrastructure.
In my work around the constituency I am struck by how fortunate we are to have so many active and vocal residents and local community groups in our area. They work tirelessly, and with great enthusiasm to do nothing more than promote and protect our beautiful area.
It is this great sense of community spirit and working together to better the local area that underpins the Coalition Government’s Localism Bill, and I am therefore delighted to have supported the Bill through its second reading in Parliament this week. The Bill will now go through to Committee Stage, where it will be scrutinised and any detailed concerns addressed.
I’ve often felt that our beautiful area is under constant threat from insensitive over-development. The volume of letters, emails and phone calls I receive on the subject seems to confirm the suspicion.
So I’m delighted to hear that the Secretary of State has confirmed new planning regulations in the Royal Borough which will help maintain the rural character of two Green Belt sites in Wraysbury.
Last year, the Council agreed to impose measures that meant anyone wanting to erect a fence or wall on a plot in Coppice Field or Thamesfield would have to apply to the council for planning permission. Whilst a step in the right direction, these measures needed confirmation from the Secretary of State for them to be deemed permanent; that confirmation was received by the council last week.
For many years I have fought insensitive overdevelopment across the Windsor constituency and will continue to do so in Binfield and Warfield. My role is to give a voice to residents’ feelings about out-of-control development in the area and, hopefully, we will meet with the same success as we did with the fight against the 3rd runway at Heathrow.
Recently, I met with Binfield Village Protection Society, who have campaigned tirelessly against the extent of the planning proposals around Binfield, to hear their views and thoughts on the proposed housing developments on the Blue Mountain Golf Course. I was determined to meet the group, despite having to fight my way back from the London Papal Visit with a journey of more than two hours!