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Election 2024: Local business reaction

Shropshire's business community has delivered its verdict on the landslide Labour victory - making it clear that the onus is now on Keir Starmer to come good on his promises.

Here's a snapshot of what the county has had to say:

“A change in Government sparks confidence and brings more certainty. This is what business needs, particularly in our sector, where investment is often significant and delays expensive. We need to see Sir Keir Starmer and his new Labour Government commit to its key ambition to deliver a strategic long-term programme of investment in the nation’s ‘crumbling infrastructure’. If hitting the ground running means immediate actions to reform the planning regime to increase house building targets, I welcome that, but we also need the infrastructure to support this with hospitals and schools.” – Paul Inions, McPhillips  

“We look forward to working in partnership with the new Government to provide the stability and certainty which local employers crave after several years of turbulence. With the three largest Westminster parties all now represented in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, we hope they will work together in the best interests of our fantastic county. The time for talk and rhetoric is over – we now need to see action on the measures highlighted in the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce manifesto.” – Ruth Ross, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce

“With a clear mandate from across the UK, Labour must now act quickly to demonstrate the positive changes that they’ll make, and in housing, this must come via ministerial stability so that demonstrable change is delivered by a consistent team. I’d like to see a strong, workable replacement for Help to Buy so that first time buyers are supported onto the property ladder. The proposed Freedom to Buy scheme currently appears little more than a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme, which experience has demonstrated to be unpopular amongst lenders and unlikely, therefore, to have the impact that Labour anticipates.” – Mike Sambrook, SJ Roberts

“While politics can influence many aspects of society, we understand that property purchasing is often driven by emotions and aspirations rather than political affiliations. Recent pre-election polls on Rightmove and OnTheMarket.com have shown high confidence ratings among individuals looking to purchase properties this summer regardless of the colour of the government rosette. Let’s see if we experience the usual post election bounce.” – Russell Griffin, Samuel Wood

“Day one rights not to be unfairly dismissed will certainly have an immediate impact on working practices and lead to some increased cost for employers. The new Labour Government is unlikely to go as far as outlawing contractual probationary periods, but the need to document a well-implemented induction and probationary review period will be all the more critical, and many smaller employers will be put off from taking recruitment decisions lightly. And Labour promise they will bring legislation in within the first 100 days – I think employment lawyers like me will be busy these next few years.” – Alasdair Hobbs, Human Results

"I hope that with a new government we will see significant implications for our high streets. Any increased support for small businesses will help to potentially revitalise and regenerate our town centres with more grants and initiatives aimed at boosting foot traffic. There still needs to be continued effort to reform business rates for high street businesses and give local authorities more sway to hold absent landlords to account. The future of our high streets hinges on creating a favourable environment for independent shops to thrive, fostering a vibrant and resilient local economy." – Sally Themans, Love Wellington/Bridgnorth/Shifnal

“Labour’s manifesto states that it will push decisions on skills spend out of Westminster and into local communities to decide what they require, presumably continuing with the theme of devolution. We would welcome this as long as the funding is open to the best providers and organisations and not ring-fenced for the few. Industry requires a long-term strategy to build trust and give companies confidence to invest.” – Gareth Jones, In-Comm Training

"Nationally, it’s good that we have had a clear result. We’ve had three different prime ministers since the last general election, and many ministerial changes, not to mention the fall-out from the mini-budget under Liz Truss’ premiership. What I hope for now is a period of certainty and stability allowing businesses to concentrate on improving productivity and growing the economy in a sustainable way.” – Brian Evans, Lanyon Bowdler

“My fear is I haven’t seen a fully-funded plan to support Labour’s manifesto. They have said no higher taxes or VAT increases, which means we are going to need the economy to grow significantly to fund things. And I just don’t buy into the new Prime Minister being able to achieve that. Time to see if the new government can deliver some early wins or it will probably be a single term in office, as the public don’t seem to have the patience for a long-term vision and journey.” – Nick Lovett, M3.agency

"There is a parallel between political parties and businesses, and I believe there is a lot businesses can learn from the election – make your people feel listened to, treat them right and have some involvement in their lives; otherwise, they will quit. The Conservatives did some good things for businesses and looked after them, but as the EU money stopped coming, funding has been a little thinner on the ground in the last few years and I would be very interested to see what Labour's angle will be on this." – Dan Ellis, EPX Technical Services