Monday, 16 December 2019

Chancellor visits butcher (and former Conservative council candidate)

Chancellor visits butcher (and former Conservative council candidate)

THE Chancellor visited a Caversham business to encourage support for the Conservatives at the general election.

Sajid Javid spent about 10 minutes chatting with staff at the Caversham Butcher in St Martin’s Precinct.

He was accompanied by Craig Morley, the party’s candidate for the Reading East constituency.

Proprietor Roland Hazell, who took over the business from the Jennings family in September, explained how he had increased trade by extending the shop’s opening hours, refurbishing the premises and accepting online orders.

He said this had worked so well that he should be able to expand next year.

Mr Javid, who also visited the Moderation pub, congratulated him on his success and also chatted with shoppers outside afterwards.

He told the Henley Standard that the Conservatives’ proposed overhaul of business rates, which could include increased allowances and tax breaks, would make it easier for independent ventures to thrive.

The Chancellor said: “Thriving high streets are a vital part of our communities and it’s always very special to see a local retailer doing so well.

“I have no doubt that Craig can help businesses such as this go from strength to strength.

“The Conservatives will get Brexit done with a deal and continue to be the party of business, which generates wealth to fund our public services.”

Mr Hazell, who has previously stood as a Conservative candidate for Reading Borough Council, said: “It was great to meet Mr Javid and I was proud to show him what we’ve achieved. I support the party because you’ve got to run the country like a business – at the end of the day, someone has got to pick up the bill for services.”

Mr Morley, a former advisor to Reading East’s previous Conservative MP Rob Wilson, said: “I’ve seen a groundswell of support when talking to people on their doorsteps and I’m confident that we will do well.”

Also standing for election is former journalist and civil servant Matt Rodda, the Labour incumbent, who was elected in 2017 with 49 per cent of the vote.

Imogen Shepherd-Dubey, a Wokingham borough councillor, is standing for the Liberal Democrats. Her party has said it would scrap business rates, which were introduced in 1990.

David McElroy, Yemi Awolola and Mitchell Feierstein are standing for the Green Party, Christian People’s Alliance and Brexit Party respectively.

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