David Warburton MP for Somerton and Frome completed a tour of local businesses in South Somerset during the Parliamentary recess last week, visiting a range of family-run establishments and local charities.
David said, "As always, it's a pleasure to catch up with local businesses in Somerset, visiting them one-to-one and gaining an insight into how they're faring. This area of Somerset is brimming with a huge range of successful local enterprise, from charities to food producers, furniture manufacturers and suppliers and it's a privilege to talk to them and discuss the various economical and political issues which affect their trade."
The South Somerset businesses which David visited include:
Brown and Forrest – a family-run smokery in Hambridge, producing smoked eel and salmon along with duck, chicken, lamb and trout. Suppliers to high-profile establishments including the restaurants of Rick Stein, Fortnum and Mason department store in London and the prestigious Hawksmoor Group steak restaurants. Owner Jess Peterson talked in depth with David about issues facing small businesses and the current business climate.
Chalon Kitchens – a family founded craft kitchen design and manufacturing company. Based in Hambridge. Chalon's range also includes dining sets, bedroom, bathroom and library furniture. Barry Walker talked to David about the unique range of furniture made by the company and showed David around their extensive works.
Ashley House Residential Care Home in Langport. A care home for 25 elderly residents, Ashley House specialises in caring for those suffering from Alzheimer's, hearing impairment, visual impairment and speech impairment plus Parkinson's disease and stroke. As well as looking round the care home, David met group managing director Alan Beal to discuss the many problematic issues with which the industry contends. David will be working on some of these as parliament recommences next week.
BIBIC – Langport-based charity helping children and young people with neurological or genetic conditions including cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome, autism, ADHD and dyslexia. Manager Linda Williams and her staff talked to David about the huge success and continued growth of the organisation.
Cracknell's Farm – a family-run free-range poultry farm supplying chickens, geese and ducks to butchers, farm shops and supermarkets across the south west. Owner Jeff Cracknell showed David round the business and they discussed the potential opportunities of growth, if some small changes were made to regulations that David is keen to support.
Kimber's Farm Shop – a family-run farm, butchers and shop near Wincanton, offering meat, hampers, dairy, gifts and delivery across Somerset. David met Ruth and Paul Kimber and talked about business rates, growth opportunities and regulations given our imminent exit from the European Union.