Siobhan Baillie on Rishi Sunak and the Stroud Starbucks ‘controversy’

RISHI Sunak came to Stroud last week for a meeting with party members as he continues to campaign to be our next leader and Prime Minister.

This was ahead of the Gloucestershire hustings for both candidates at Cheltenham.

During the local meeting, local newspapers, including the SNJ, were able to come and ask him questions about important matters such as rural transport and NHS dentists. I have pressed him on supporting small businesses too.

I am backing Rishi to be our next PM. I think his economic programme in these challenging times is the best approach to the big problems we face.

However, we have two experienced and talented candidates.

There has been some concern locally about plans by Starbucks to set up shop in the new medical practice near my office.

My own view is that we should always support independent businesses if possible, not big multinationals.  

However, in these challenging times we must welcome all investment and jobs.

It is important that everyone has the chance to get their views but please do not attack anyone about this issue.

Please get in contact if you have an opinion. I would like to hear it. 

The team behind Five Valleys also oversee the medical practice development and they have undertaken extensive work to bring in local businesses and millions of investment into Stroud with the excellent new shopping complex.

It replaced the awful mess that was the Merrywalks centre.  

Everything the Five Valleys team has done is to get more people into the town to benefit all businesses.

This is an important consideration.

They have a track record of making commercial decisions with a view to bringing more people onto the high streets so I want to talk to them to understand the position properly.

I will ask about options for the new medical centre. 

I believe we need to continue to have a focus on celebrating local entrepreneurial spirit that gives an interesting mix for customers in our towns if they bring jobs.

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