Localism Bill is not as good as it should be for SMEs

For failing to recognize, in proposed legislation to improve economies, the importance of small businesses, the Government is coming under considerable heat. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are the ones criticizing the government saying that the Localism Bill’s current version is a missed opportunity.

The Bill is a part of the Big Society campaign of the government and today reaches its report stage. The campaign is pushing to give more power back to communities. But John Walker, FSB chairman said that the goals of the Bill are clear, but many issues must be addressed while it is still in debate and before it becomes law.

The FSB is calling on the MP’s to make amendments to the Bill to ensure the bill reflects all the needs that local businesses have.  It is a disappointment that the Bill does not recognize the role small businesses play in the community and how important they are locally. These small local businesses will be the key in strengthening the economy to recover from the recession.

One key issue was the proposed neighbourhood planning forums that currently do not have sufficient spaces for the business owners at the table. MPs are being lobbied by FSB to make amends to the Bill allowing business owners to be a part of the forums to help protect economic growth in the area.

They also want recognition of the larger role the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) can play like making sure there is cooperation on key strategic issues like planning and transport. They also want to amend the Community Right to Buy clauses that appear in the current version of the Bill.