King’s speech failed to recognise the potential of community business

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Our Deputy Chief Executive responds to the King’s Speech
7 Nov, 2023

Ailbhe McNabola, Deputy Chief Executive Officer said:

“There was thin gruel for community business in this King’s Speech. It is clear the government has one eye on the next election and is attempting to create dividing lines with the Opposition with a focus on criminal justice and new oil and gas licenses. While the King’s Speech did bring a renewed commitment to levelling up and the need to strengthen the social fabric of the country, we want to see substantive change. We will continue to work with government and apply pressure where necessary to create the conditions that community business needs to thrive. That means delivering the right powers, resources, and backing.  

It would be a mistake to let communities fall off the agenda. It is at the local level – where community businesses operate – where tangible change happens and can be felt in people’s everyday lives. The Government has shown some recognition of this in its Long-Term Plan for Towns, promising to put local people in control of their future, so now isn’t the time to drop the ball. We will be looking closely at the detail of the proposed legislation to see whether there is scope for legislative changes – such as a Community Right to Buy – that could make a real difference for community business before the end of this Parliament. 

To unlock the full potential of community business, the government needs to deliver the powers, resources, and backing that they need to thrive. We remain hopeful that there is room for manoeuvre within this legislative programme to deliver against this and we will continue our work to create the conditions for community business to thrive. Community businesses are willing and able partners ready to grapple with the green transition, the cost of living, and revitalising the high street. It’s time government fully recognised that.”