BUSINESS groups in York and North Yorkshire have welcomed the election of the new Labour government, but they have used their welcome to set out some demands.

The West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce wished Sir Keir Starmer and his government "every success" but called for Yorkshire to be placed “at the heart of Britain’s economic policy.”

Amanda Beresford, chair of West & North Yorkshire Chamber, said: “Our hope now is that Sir Keir make good on their manifesto commitment to grow the economy and create the environment that allows businesses in Yorkshire are able to grow, invest and create jobs and prosperity.”

The Chamber has called for the new government to deliver stability and a ‘pro-growth culture’ to generate wealth in the region.


It also seeks better road and rail links between the east and west of the North of England.

Better digital and skills training is also sought, with two thirds of businesses saying recruitment and retention is a struggle.

The region’s two mayoral combined authorities should receive greater controls over health and tax as they know their regions best.

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And the hospitality sector should receive a lower rate of VAT, action to further reduce eneerby bills, with easier migration to ease staff shortages, the chamber added.

Adam Wardale, chair of the Hospitality Association of York (HAY), says his group is non-political, but it notes how the Labour Party has ‘engaged’ with the hospitality sector in recent years.

The party has made commitments such as reforming business rates and “that’s the commitment they need to keep.”

Mr Wardale welcomed the re-election of Rachael Maskell to York Central, calling her a “good supporter of HAY initiatives.”

He also hoped with York having a Labour council, Labour Mayor, and Labour MPs, this could see more delivered to York and the region.

Similarly, Phil Pinder of the High Street Forum offered congratulations to Mr Starmer and York’s two Labour MPs, but it would be about delivery.

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He welcomed Labour talk of support for small businesses as well as looking to abolish rates, something the forum and the Federation of Small Businesses has campaigned on.

Andrew Lowson, executive director of York Bid commented: “‘It is sometimes said that the Conservatives are the traditional party of business, but it says a lot nationally when Liz Truss is voted out from a safe seat following a disastrous budget; a budget that negatively impacted so many businesses.” 

He added: “York now has a Labour Council, Mayor and two MP’s.  Businesses will be hoping that this provides strong leadership and consensus. 

“A local plan for housing, business rate reform, help for retail and hospitality and extra capacity in the planning system are all key issues the business community would like to see improved. 

“In the short term, I hope that there will be a bounce in consumer confidence to help businesses in what is a flat economy.”