MP pledges to look into high cost of fuel in Haverhill
Thursday, 21st April 2011.
Haverhill's MP has promised to look into why fuel is more expensive in Haverhill than anywhere else locally.
Matthew Hancock was answering questions at a meeting of thebestof Haverhill business website when the issue was put to him.
Keith Donno, who runs an aircraft taxicab business, said fule costs had hit them hard, but asked why fuel was more expensive in Haverhill than anywhere else.
Mr Hancock said he was unaware of that, but saw from the many nodding heads in the room that it was so, and pledged to look into it.
Mr Donno said diesel was 5p a litre cheaper in Bury St Edmunds and 7p in London, so he had had to stop using his local garage.
The MP told the meeting that not being reliant on public sector employment was one of the reasons the town has withstood the worst of the current cuts.
"One of the strengths of Haverhill, and the reason for its continued improvement is that it is a largely business-employed town," Mr Hancock said.
Just a year after he spoke to a similar meeting as a candidate, Mr Hancock returned today to tell business people about his first year as an MP.
He listed the many great changes which the year had seen, in Haverhill and in the UK generally and described it as 'a real pleasure' to represent the town in Westminster.
He said there were three major issues on the economic scene at present - spending cuts, efforts to ease the way for business to grow, and the Big Society.
He described Haverhill as 'a great example of how the Big Society works'.
"I have found there is a huge amount of goodwill among people from all sectors coming together to solve the problems of the town," he said.
All the three major issues were underpinned by a set of values, he said - that you get out what you put in and those who worked hard should be rewarded, there should be support for aspirations and enterprise, and support for 'people who play by the rules'.
He was asked the coming of superfast broadband and found it ironic that meetings about teleworking in Haverhill were held in Ipswich and attendees had to travel there.
"The perception in Haverhill for a long time has been that money is spent elsewhere," he said.
"St Edmundsbury Borough Council has a new fovcus on Haverhill now and the work they have done is fantastic. I don't hear the complaint any more that all the money goes to Bury.
"In terms of Suffolk County Copuncil there has been an improvement. The new prospective leader is Mark Bee and he comes from Lowestoft and knows how it is to feel very distant as we do here."
Town accountant Paul Donno listed some concerns of his business clients locally, which ranged from the hard linje currently taken by HM Revenue and Customs, to irritation at the bank holiday for the royal wedding.
"It is badly planned for a small business," he said. "Not only does it have to pay employees for a day off, but it has to pay them one day earlier."
Mr Hancock said he was not responsible for the planning of the royal wedding, but he understood the impact of bank holidays on small businesses and was opposed to the campaign to create one on St George's Day.
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