Council Leader expresses concerns on behalf of the local business community

21 December 2021

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP to express the Council’s concerns about the substantial reduction in revenues being felt in the local business community, particularly in the hospitality sector, as they suffer because of the latest restrictions.

In her letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Councillor Gittins says: 

“Restrictions on the economy need to be accompanied by support to help business through this difficult time. I am proud of the support my council has been able to provide, using funding from central government, deployed locally on as flexible a basis as possible to meet local need. We stand ready to deliver the additional support that is now needed and urge you to take urgent steps to provide a new support package for business which fully reflects the current situation.”

Full Letter

Dear Chancellor, 

I’m writing to you to represent the deep concern being felt in our local business community, particularly in the hospitality sector, as they suffer a substantial reduction in revenues as a result of the latest restrictions.

I support the steps being taken to reduce transmission of Covid-19, respect the advice of the Chief Medical Officer to limit social contact, and like SAGE see a strong case to go further to protect our communities and the NHS. But, as an important point of principle, restrictions on the economy need to be accompanied by support to help business through this difficult time.

Even where the impact on business is indirect rather than directly restricted, for example by reduced demand in the hospitality sector, our local economy is suffering. The businesses that do the right thing, and have done most to protect their customers, are among those that suffer most.

My borough shares a border with Wales, and the centre of the city of Chester is only two miles from the Welsh border. As a result, our local businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, are affected by restrictions in place both sides of the border. The situation now is similar to our experience this time last year, when tier 2 restrictions left our businesses in the worst of all positions: able in theory to open, but with customers understandably reluctant, and no financial support from government. 

I am proud of the support my council has been able to provide, using funding from central government, deployed locally on as flexible a basis as possible to meet local need. We stand ready to deliver the additional support that is now needed and urge you to take urgent steps to provide a new support package for business which fully reflects the current situation.
 

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