Paul Scully visited Bristol on Thursday, June 16 to hear more about the challenges faced by local business and the work taking place to support them.
The minister was joined by councillor Nicola Beech in discussions about combating the sale of illegal tobacco in the city. Bristol’s illegal tobacco trade is an ongoing issue for Bristol’s Trading Standard team, who have stepped up their fight against the sale of the product after two businesses in Bedminster were found to be selling illegal tobacco last September.
Paul Scully met with Bristol Trading Standards Service to hear about the illegal tobacco trade in Bristol and the wider region, and activities countering rogue builders and tradesmen, in what Bristol Trading Standards Service argue will protect consumers and support legitimate businesses and the local economy.
Discussions included the challenges of enforcement, the scale of the problems and the types of businesses involved, methods of concealment and size of shipments, and an overview of prosecution outcomes and other successes.
Enterprise and decarbonisation across South Wales and Western England was also discussed. Paul Scully joined a roundtable hosted by Western Gateway Partnership with businesses from across South Wales and Western England to talk about the innovative local work going on across the area to decarbonise to reach net zero and the problems businesses face accessing funding.
The minister’s visit concluded with a tour of St Nick’s Market to discuss the traders’ recovery following the pandemic. Kathryn Davis, Visit West’s director of tourism introduced Scully to different businesses owners within the market to learn more about the journey and challenges they face.
Nicola Beech, who is also cabinet member with responsibility for Strategic Planning, Resilience and Floods said she was “delighted” to welcome the minister to Bristol to discuss some of the important work going on in the council.
“We highlighted some of the challenges we face, discussed the measures we have in place to support businesses and the wider economy, and shared some of our success stories following two exceptionally challenging years for our business”, she said.
Paul Scully praised the first-hand work being done across the region to help unlock growth and drive investment: “Whether it’s harnessing innovation to cut emissions, improving connectivity between local communities or rooting out illegal businesses practices, this is all critical to our ambition of levelling up the UK.”
Main photo: Cameron Cheek, Bristol City Council’s Markets and Estates operations manager with MP Paul Scully, councillor Nicola Beech and Kathryn Davis, Visit West’s director of tourism, photo: Bristol City Council
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