European Small Businesses back Anthea

MEP Anthea McIntyre has won the backing of the influential European Small Business Alliance for her efforts to reduce the burden of regulation on small and micro enterprises.

Miss McIntyre was appointed by the European Parliament’s Employment Committee to prepare a report on the impact of regulation on small businesses and her proposals have been warmly endorsed by the ESBA which represents nearly one million small enterprises across 35 European countries.

Amongst Miss McIntyre’s key recommendations are measures to cut the disproportionate cost and complexity of business regulation on businesses with less than 10 employees; to improve access to and the cost of finance; cutting burdensome regulations; addressing indirect labour costs; access to export markets and the capacity to develop them; average payment times and skill shortages.

While welcoming a raft of current initiatives, Miss McIntyre stressed that such measures must not create additional red tape, must demonstrate added value and value for money, and must complement Member States’ initiatives.

Perhaps the most radical recommendation is that any new business regulations should be drafted on the basis of their impact on micro and small businesses in the first instance.  This would reverse the current situation where the impact of regulation on the smallest businesses is considered at a late stage in the process.

Miss McIntyre also called on the Commission to consider a ‘one in, one out rule’ that allows the objectives of health, safety and equality provisions to be maintained while scrapping one existing regulation for each new one proposed.

The ESBA said, "ESBA has called for fitness checks for a long time and fully supports the McIntyre report’s call for the identification of areas in which there are excessive burdens, inconsistencies or ineffective legislation in the field of employment that have an adverse impact on SMEs. ESBA is also a longstanding proponent of the concept of a ‘one in, one out rule’. Whilst maintaining the objectives of health and safety, this rule could cut a significant amount of red tape by getting rid of unnecessary and out-dated regulation.”

Miss McIntyre said:

“My personal experience running a small business has shown that far too often new regulations are imposed without proper consideration of their impact.  It is relatively easy for large businesses to hire a specialist to deal with a specific regulation but many small businesses simply can’t afford to do so and that leads to the business owner trying to cope with more and more bureaucracy  while trying to grow their business and earn enough to pay the wages at the end of the month.  This situation is damaging the ability of micro and small businesses to create new jobs and must be addressed.”

The Courtyard is a great resource says Anthea McIntyre

Last week’s meeting of the Hereford Conservative Business Forum (HCBF) heard from Melanie Denning and Lucy Wells, the Business Development Managers from The Courtyard, Hereford.

The 30 members present learnt that The Courtyard can provide a dramatic and memorable venue for conferences, events, meetings, presentations, training, corporate entertaining and more in addition to its more well-known role as Herefordshire’s centre for the Arts.

Ross-on-Wye’s MEP and Chairman of the HCBF, Anthea McIntyre said, “We are fortunate to have such a superb resource in Hereford and it offers local businesses an amazing venue for product launches, conferences and all manner of innovative opportunities to promote themselves,” after the presentation.

MEP Anthea McIntyre, who is also Chairman of the Herefordshire Conservative Business Forum, hosted another successful breakfast meeting this week.

The guest speaker was Adrian Blackshaw, candidate for the West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner elections which will be held on 15th November.

“Many people mistakenly believe that crime is an urban problem,” said Mr Blackshaw.

“In fact, the NFU’s 2012 Rural Crime Survey shows a year-on-year growth of 6 percent .”

Thefts of tractors has fallen but there has been an increase in the theft of oil/diesel, metal, chemicals, machinery, vehicles and livestock.  The value of these thefts is estimated at £52 million per annum.

“If elected as PCC, one of my priorities will be to focus on rural crime and to work with local communities and organisations to help reverse the growth in rural crime.  Local knowledge is invaluable and I urge farmers, landowners and the whole rural community to engage with the police on a partnership basis to tackle this problem ,”  Mr Blackshaw concluded.

Miss McIntyre commented:

“Too often the problems that face rural communities are seen as minor when compared to the problems of large, urban, areas.  The fact is that the theft of a piece of farm equipment can lead to the farmer missing the opportunity to plant or harvest a crop and so the loss is far greater than just the cost of replacing the piece of equipment.

“My work on the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering has demonstrated that the thefts are often arranged by international gangs and that a vehicle stolen overnight can be on a ferry by breakfast-time.

“It is vital that we tackle the issue of rural crime locally, nationally and at a European level.”

MEP, Anthea McIntyre, welcomed colleagues from Westminster, including Andrew Griffiths MP for Burton, to Brussels where they gave their support to dairy farmers demanding a fair price for milk.

“It is unsustainable for farmers are paid 4p or 5p per litre less than the cost of production.” Said Miss McIntyre.

“The recent agreement between producers, milk processors and retailers stopped a further planned cut in the price paid to many farmers but there is still a long way to go to achieve a fair milk price .

“Farming is the life-blood of this area and I am proud to stand-up for the British agricultural industry and to work with dairy farmers in their fight for a fair price."

MEP, Anthea McIntyre, was pleased to be able to take part in the Conservative Party’s social action project at Conference this year, despite having broken a bone in her foot earlier in the week.

She went to the ‘Social Action Zone’ within the conference venue, and packed a box to be sent to a soldier serving in Afghanistan, in partnership with the charity Support our Soldiers.

Miss McIntyre joined a number of Ministers, Members of Parliament, Party Staff, journalists and representatives who also packed a box, with an accompanying note thanking the soldiers for their service and wishing them well.  The parcels will be sent out in time for January, bringing ‘a little cheer for the New Year.

Anthea McIntyre, MEP for the West Midlands Region, said, “I was delighted to be able to take part in this year’s Social Action project at the Conservative Party Conference.  Support our Soldiers has delivered over 100,000 parcels to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003. It is an admirable organisation and it’s great to have the chance to send a parcel and a note thanking the troops who do so much to keep us safe.“

Further information:

Support Our Soldiers: www.supportoursoldiers.co.uk

Support Our Soldiers is a national charity, which has been creating care parcels for serving soldiers since 2003.  It was set up by two mums whose sons were about to deploy to the Gulf.  It became a registered charity in 2007 and is now a major force in the Military support network.

Conservative commitment to Social Action: To underline our commitment to Social Action we have undertaken a different project at every Party Conference since 2006.

We make it clear that we are there to inject financial and voluntary action into the organisation as a one-off, and that we dedicate our team and resources to a different scheme at each Conference.

We are delighted that each project that we have supported has continued to prosper, including our first Social Action scheme in Bournemouth, which has even been awarded a £200,000 lottery grant for further development.