Group launched to support Horsham district businesses

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HORSHAM District Council is conducting a review to look at how it can improve support for local business in the Horsham District.

The review will examine the situation in some of the market towns and villages in the District in terms of empty retail units, small local businesses and post offices and how they could be supported in the difficult financial climate.

The review is being carried out by a new Working Group set up by the Scrutiny & Overview Committee at Horsham District Council and the group met for the first time on 18 April 2012.

The suggestion for a review was raised by Ashington Parish Council following concern about the number of empty retail units in the village.

The aim of the new review is:

- to review the current situation in terms of empty retail units in the District

- to explore what the Council could do better to support the current small local business

- to consider whether any incentives could be provided to attract news business

Following discussions, the Working Group agreed it would consider two large villages and two market towns in the District for the purposes of this review, as a sample of the District.

It was decided that the Group would look at Ashington, Billingshurst, Pulborough and Rudgwick as part of the review.

David Sheldon, chairman of the scrutiny & overview committee at Horsham District Council, said: “Not only are local businesses an important part of the local economy, they also contribute significantly to local communities.

“Scrutiny and Overview has a key role to play in looking at issues that contribute to wellbeing and so we are very happy to be taking up this suggestion from Ashington Parish Council.

“Recent reviews involving parish councils have proved very successful and this promises to follow suit.”

For more information or details on the Scrutiny and Overview Committee at Horsham District Council, call 01403 215138, email, or go to the Scrutiny pages on the Horsham District Council website