MEP hears EU trade and local transport concerns on visit to expanding Rugby firm

West Midlands Euro MP Phil Bennion visited an expanding Rugby logistics company as part of a fact-finding mission to listen to their experiences of trading in the European Union and to see their operation in more detail.

The MEP, who is Liberal Democrat Employment and Transport spokesman in the European Parliament, met owners Adam and Karen Shuter at Exact Logistics on the Dunchurch Trading Estate in London Road.

Phil Bennion MEP said: “Transport and employment are two sectors which are closely linked and it was a very informative discussion with Adam and Karen to hear their perspective as a small-sized business with extensive connections in the EU single market.

“Exact Logistics has a great deal of experience trading and working in Europe and access to finance remains a hot topic to make sure SMEs know about the EU funding available.

“We talked about the need for foreign visitors to access the region easily and for local businesses with export ambitions to travel abroad affordably and easily. The cost of flying from local airports and the lack of affordable rail links to airports such as Stansted is a barrier to export growth. which puts the whole region at a disadvantage.

“The company is growing and creating jobs. But the location of Exact Logistics on the edge of Rugby means they are struggling to find people to work at the company who use public transport.

“Developments are sometimes built without public transport links or where there is only a limited bus service which staff on early shifts cannot use. I will be discussing this issue with the local council to see whether, in the case of Exact Logistics, the local bus service could be extended to serve their trading estate.

“It was a worthwhile and positive meeting and I will be feeding back their thoughts as part of my work on the Employment and Transport committees in the European Parliament.”

Karen Shuter said improved transport links to export markets were an important issue for the future growth of Exact Logistics, which is a finalist in the Small Business of the Year category for the 2014 Pride of Rugby Awards, organised by Rugby FM.

She also called for joined up thinking on job creation. “EU funding is available to support new employment,” Karen said. “But if jobs are created where staff can’t physically get there, it is restricting the numbers who can apply particularly young people who can’t drive or afford a car.

“It was great to be able to discuss the issues affecting us with an MEP and to hopefully play a small part in shaping any policy changes at EU level which could help SMEs such as ours.”