Call for A1(m) to be widened to help businesses

Bosses have called on politicians to press for the widening of the A1(M) and improved skills training to boost trade in the area.

Over 50 businesses questioned MPs, an MEP, county and district councilors, North Herts College and the Local Enterprise Partnership at a meeting in Letchworth GC hosted by business network Biz4Biz and North East Herts MP Oliver Heald’s Business Club.

There was a strong push from business for widening of the A1(m) between Welwyn and Stevenage, improved skills education in IT and engineering as well as representation for small business on the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Mr Heald, who spoke about his questions to Government on the speed of payment by its departments to small and medium companies, said it was a good opportunity for local business to ask questions and press for action from all levels of government.

MEP Vicky Ford, who sits on the European Parliament’s economic committee, answered questions on the Eurozone economic crisis. She said: “It was very helpful to meet up with local businesses to discuss the impact of the current economic situation, and how issues overseas are affecting companies here in Hertfordshire.

“I feel that it is important that we as MEPs work with MPs, councilors and local businesses to share ideas and ensure a joined up approach to the challenges on the ground.”

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, said: “The range of questions raised illustrated the areas local businesses want all levels of government to concentrate on and certainly complemented the many visits and conversations I have with employers in Stevenage.”