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Local Business

I backed Otley BID

In November, Otley became the first Business Improvement District market town in the whole of West Yorkshire. The Otley BID is an initiative where local businesses come together to make decisions and take action to improve their trading environment. They are committed to improving the trading environment, saving business running costs, increasing profitability and a making Otley a better place to live, work and visit. Both as an MP and as a resident I know that Otley is a vibrant and unique town, full of energetic people, fizzing with ideas. The Otley BID will be a catalyst to harness and coordinate those energies, stimulating even more innovation and participation, bringing benefits not just to local businesses but to the whole community. I am looking forward to seeing the improvements that they intend to make in the New Year and will continue to support them wherever possible. For further details about Otley BID check out their website.


I have been actively supporting apprenticeships with local businesses in my constituency. I have started a campaign to help create local jobs in Leeds North West by bringing together businesses, employers, apprentices and charities. The campaign will be running throughout the year but begins with a focus on apprenticeships. The campaign is part of a wider Liberal Democrat pledge to create one million new private sector jobs in order to boost economic recovery.

I believe that worthwhile and well funded apprenticeships are important to tackle youth unemployment as they provide the chance to earn while learning skills. In September I welcomed a young apprentice, Connor Wilsden, and Graham Newall, Craftsman Tools' Apprentice Training Officer, from Craftsman Tools in Otley to parliament. Craftsman Tools were invited to an event with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as they are a leading local provider of apprenticeships. To mark the 60th anniversary of the company they have created a designated apprentice training area, furthering their commitment to creating apprenticeships for local young people and helping them get training and find work.

September 2013, Apprenticeship Day in Westminster

Greg, Connor, Nick and Graham

Business Survey 2013

In September I sent out a business survey to all the local businesses in the Leeds North West constituency to find out their views.

Survey results