FIRST FRIDAY WITH STEVE BARCLAY MP: Beetroot, the Budget, drought and highways improvements

Our monthly column with NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay.

BEETROOT might not be the most likely topic you would expect to read about in an MP’s diary.

But my recent visit to G’s Fresh Beetroot based in March, which processes half the UK’s beetroot crop, highlighted the growth potential for local businesses.

I am keen to see the development of high-tech horticultural manufacturing in the Fens and the robots being used by G’s illustrate the potential we have.

HELPING businesses like this to grow was the key theme of the Budget.


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I was very pleased to hear that personal tax allowances went up and corporation tax came down. The explanation of the so-called “granny tax” could have been better.

The Budget is also seeking to kick-start major transport infrastructure projects and together with my neighbouring MP, Jim Paice, I am working hard with officials to progress the Ely bypass.

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This and other transport schemes were discussed with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street this week during a catch-up session with East of England MPs.

A CONCERN regarding drought which I raised in my blog last December has gained wider national prominence in recent weeks.

I discussed this with NFU President Peter Kendall at the Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society Dinner as the consequences could be very severe in the months ahead.

AS your MP, I try and work closely with a wide range of people from our community.

A flavour of this includes meetings this month with the new managing director of Roddons, the High Sheriff, the chairman of NHS Cambridgeshire and the principal of Neale-Wade Community College.

The boot was on the other foot, however, when a number of students came to interview me recently as part of their Citizenship project.

I was greatly impressed by their questions. It highlights the potential we have amongst the young people of the Fens and the importance of delivering a strong economy with local jobs to secure their future.

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