Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson Daisy Benson calls on Secretary of State Greg Clark to visit Yeovil to meet high tech businesses

Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate Daisy Benson has invited Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to meet with hi-tech businesses in Yeovil.

Commenting, Daisy Benson said:

High-tech businesses are the lifeblood of our economy in Yeovil.’

‘For every one job in a high-tech industry it is estimated that another five are created both in the manufacturing supply chain and beyond.’

‘If these businesses are to continue to thrive and grow in years to come a forward-looking, integrated industrial strategy must be adopted as a matter of urgency by Theresa May’s government.’

‘I’m calling on the Secretary of State, Greg Clark, to visit Yeovil and urgently meet local business leaders to discuss the key role they can continue to play in our country's future success.’


 

See below the text from when Daisy Benson wrote to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 8th October, shortly after the news was announced of potential job losses at GKN in Yeovil.

Dear Mr Clark,

I read with interest your recent speech made on 26th September to the Institute of Directors on the importance of industrial strategy and on the back of it I wanted to invite you to Yeovil so you can see for yourself what our high-tech businesses have to offer. 

As a believer in evidence-based policy I was heartened  by your assertion that 'building upon proven strengths is a cornerstone of good strategy'. In addition, your remarks about a successful industrial strategy being a local one. 

This chimed with my own belief and those of my Liberal Democrat colleagues here in South Somerset in the vital role of dynamic local economies in the success of our economy as a whole.

In your speech you highlighted the fact that in Britain we excel at the cutting-edge of industry. Few places we would argue will you find this more in evidence than in Yeovil, which been home to world-leading engineers and innovators since the early 1940s.

High-tech businesses based in Yeovil engaged in the manufacture of helicopters and other manufacturing enterprises are a source of  immense pride both locally and nationally, and rightly so.

As well as acting attracting inward investment into our economy these businesses also provide huge benefits to our economy both locally and nationally.

For every one job in a high-tech industry it is estimated that another five are created both in the manufacturing supply chain and beyond.  

High-tech businesses, via apprenticeships and graduate-placements also provide vital career opportunities to our aspiring young engineers not just in Somerset but across the UK - highly- skilled young people who might otherwise leave the UK to pursue careers overseas.

My predecessors David Laws and Paddy Ashdown both worked hard in their capacities as Members of Parliament to support high-tech businesses in Yeovil.   

Their efforts were complimented by local initiatives led by South Somerset District Council such as the Yeovil Innovation Centre.

I have discussed the matter with Lord Ashdown and Cllr Ric Pallister, Leader of the Council and they are of the same view if these businesses are to continue to thrive and grow in years to come a forward-looking, integrated industrial strategy must be adopted as a matter of urgency by the government.

This must be a strategy for the long term taking account of future skills, Research and Development requirements, as well as desired manufacturing capabilities. It must also be closely aligned with our national defence strategy.

I note that in your speech you write that you and your ministers will be travelling to every part of the UK to work with business and to forge relationships. 

I think it would be worthwhile if you could visit Yeovil and I would like to invite you to meet with local businesses and my colleagues in the district council to discuss the key part they can continue to play in our country's future success.

Yours sincerely,

Daisy Benson 

CC Cllr Ric Pallister, Leader South Somerset District Council

     Lord Ashdown of Norton sub Hamdon