NWEC Unveils Manifesto
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NWEC Unveils Manifesto for Economic Growth and Public Safety Ahead of UK General Election

The New West End Company (NWEC), representing over 600 UK and international businesses in London’s West End, has unveiled a new manifesto outlining policy priorities and recommendations for the future government ahead of the upcoming general election in the UK.

Built on insights from its extensive membership, the manifesto calls on the UK’s political parties to focus on three key areas: economic growth, public safety, and planning. NWEC asserts that implementing these recommendations will help “drive growth and investment in the nation’s high streets.”

Dee Corsi, chief executive of the New West End Company, emphasized the importance of these priorities in a statement: “As the election nears, ‘growth’ has become a buzzword for both Labour and the Conservatives. But if our nation’s politicians are serious about delivering for the business sector, we need to take a long-term approach that tackles unwieldy business rates, encourages innovation by reforming the rigid planning system, and keeps streets safe by remodeling police funding.”

Corsi added, “Our manifesto, informed by the more than 600 UK and international businesses that the New West End Company represents, offers any future government a roadmap to do just that. In a little under four weeks, the public will have decided on who they want to lead the country. When the nation has had its say, I hope that the government will look to the recommendations of the nation’s businesses so that they can deliver on the promise of growth.”

NWEC’s manifesto emphasizes the need for economic growth to be a top priority in the upcoming general election. The group calls for comprehensive business rate reforms to boost high streets across the country, advocating for a “fairer system” that reflects today’s multi-channel sales model without simply shifting the bill to online businesses, reported 365 Retail.

Additionally, NWEC seeks the reintroduction of tax-free shopping, highlighting that tourist spending in the UK has declined while it has surged in countries like France and Italy, putting British businesses at a disadvantage.

Addressing chronic skills shortages in key sectors such as retail is another critical focus of the manifesto. NWEC urges an increase in the budget for adult skills to create higher-skilled and better-paid jobs, thereby enhancing business performance and customer experience.

Regarding public safety, NWEC calls on party leaders to combat organized crime and anti-social behavior, introduce more visible policing to tackle retail crime, and review the funding model for devolved policing to ensure streets remain safe.

The final focus area is planning, where NWEC advocates for a more flexible planning system. The current system is described as “excessively rigid, creating unnecessary barriers to development and inward investment.” NWEC seeks a reformed system that supports modern development projects and prioritizes a retrofit-first approach to sustainable development within the broader context of economic and social sustainability.

Improved access to high streets and continued investment in essential transport infrastructure are also highlighted as necessary for ensuring that crucial hospitality and retail areas remain accessible to all.

With these comprehensive recommendations, NWEC aims to guide the next government in fostering a thriving business environment and vibrant high streets across the UK.

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