Small business day in Witham for Priti Patel
The Rt Hon. Priti Patel has spent Friday morning (8th November) linking up with a series of small businesses to discuss business growth and expansion in the Witham Constituency. She began her day by formally opening the new Osbon Chemist in Potter Court, Flemming Way. Previously based at The Elms on the Forest Road estate, Osbon Chemist has relocated to the Rivenhall Park Bellway development, with the help of the developer.
Priti said: “I was very impressed with the new facilities which are very modern and provide a light and airy environment for both the staff and customers. They share a building with the One Stop Shop, so you can even do your shopping while waiting for your prescription to be filled.”
Priti’s next visit was to the Car Studio in Enterprise Court, where the owners, Ian and Suzanne Coles discussed local business issues, while she toured their premises.
Priti then met with Brad Wendes, Academy Manager at the Kinetix Academy Free Running School, in Moss Road, where she toured the expanding academy and discussed a new initiative to use sport as a diversionary activity to combat anti-social behaviour. Team Kinetix is running a pilot in partnership with Active Essex where teenagers living in social housing in Braintree can use their facilities free of charge one evening every week and a minibus will pick them up and take them home at no cost to the young people involved.
Academy Manager Brad Wendes is looking to spread this new project across the whole of Essex. He said: “This is something of a passion project as we’ve been working with young people in care for a number of years now and we wanted to give them some consistency and a safe, fun place to be. The Children in Care Council and Essex County Council are helping us set this up but with such a big project, it’s taking time to get it going.
“We firmly believe that by using sport and physical activity to engage young people and surround them with positive role models, peers and adults, we can make a positive difference to their lives.”
Priti said: “This is an excellent initiative because giving these young people something fun and interesting to do will naturally mean they will spend less time on the streets. It is a common complaint that there isn’t enough for young people to do when they are not in school and this is designed specifically to address that concern. I will be very interested to see how this project develops in Witham and across the county.”
During her visit, Brad performed a spectacular acrobatic stunt in somersaulting over a calmly seated Priti.
Priti’s next port of call was at the Groom Room Barber shop in Market End, Coggeshall where she met new young entrepreneur India Tate, aged 20, who has set up her own men’s haircutting business. India is introducing a new reduced rate for members of the emergency services and Priti dropped in to help her launch the new service.
Priti said: “The people who work in our emergency services are very special and frequently have the toughest of jobs. We all rely on them and I am delighted to see a local entrepreneur recognising this and offering them a discount. I’m also pleased to see a young person already running her own business at such a young age and with so much drive and initiative. I wish her well and I will be monitoring her progress with interest.”
Priti finished her round of small business visits when she called in to Oakleys of Coggeshall flower shop in Market End, for a tour of the building and to formally open their new premises with a ribbon cutting ceremony. She was presented with a large bouquet flowers to celebrate the occasion.