General Election 2024: Staffordshire businesses react to Labour’s win 

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Businesses have reacted to the results of the 2024 General Election which saw Labour’s slew of gains across Staffordshire contribute to the party’s landslide victory nationally. 

As reported by Daily Focus this morning, Labour took nine of the 12 constituencies across the county and Sir Keir Starmer is set to become the UK’s next prime minister with a huge parliamentary majority.  

Matt Beckley, Head of Development at Burntwood’s Keon Homes, a provider of affordable housing and Extra Care schemes, said stability is key but he would also like to see a planning application reform. 

Matt Beckley.

He commented: “There has been a lot of uncertainty in the market and that doesn’t suit anyone – what we would really love to see is stability in the first instance.  

“Going forward, there needs to be some form of planning application reform to cut down the time it takes to get developments off the ground. At the moment, it can take anything up to two years to get things through and that just isn’t feasible for our sector. 

“Other welcome measures would be a long-term housing strategy, extensions to the Affordable Homes Grant programme and some first-time buyer policies to get people on the ladder. 

“Alongside the planning reform, we really need to see a return of the Mandatory Housing Targets for Local Authorities, which was taken away by the Conservatives. This gave some councils the perfect opportunity to slow down work or, in some cases, pull developments all together on the Local Plans.  

“The final thing I’d like Labour to start to address is skills. There is a real lack of young people entering our sector and we need a co-ordinated approach from government, education and industry to get this back on track.” 

Tony Hague.

Tony Hague, CEO of Cheslyn Hay-based PP Control & Automation, one of the UK’s leading strategic manufacturing outsourcing specialists, has previously spoken out to call on industry to take control of its own destiny and not rely on government.  

Today he said: “From a UK manufacturing perspective, we await with interest what positive steps they may take in the short and long-term. Some relatively easy decisions that could have a big impact, include a revised R&D policy, a review on corporation tax and more sustained support for SMEs around export. 

“Now the election is over, we must see positive and bold action from the Bank of England, and this should start with interest rate cuts to stimulate the economy and reduce the cost of borrowing.”

Shevaun Haviland
Shevaun Haviland

Meanwhile, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce Shevaun Haviland has congratulated Labour on its decisive general election victory and pledged to work in partnership with the new Government to boost the economy. 

She said: “The public have delivered them a clear and decisive parliamentary majority – hopefully they will use this mandate to provide the stability and certainty businesses crave. 

“How we revitalise our economy was hotly debated throughout the past six weeks, and it is encouraging to see they have many policies which clearly align with our recommendations. 

“But after a gruelling election the really hard work starts now. We need to see action from day one on pulling together a coherent industrial strategy for the long-term, which places a strong emphasis on harnessing green innovation. 

“Closing the skills gap, growing exports, boosting productivity and harnessing the power of AI won’t happen overnight. 

“And businesses will also want to see early movement on pledges around business rates reform and improving our trade relationship with the EU. 

“None of this will be easy, and our new Government should not be expected to do it alone. But our entire Chamber Network and the 51,000 businesses it represents will be ready to put their shoulders to the wheel and help.”

Hayley Johnson

Senior journalist with over 15 years’ experience writing for customers and audiences all over the world. Previous work has included everything from breaking news for national newspapers to complex business stories, in-depth human-interest features and celebrity interviews - and most things in between.

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