MP has his chips on fact-finding mission

George Hollingbery MP at Banks Fish and Chips in London Road, Cowplain'' ''(left to right) Sally Jenson (39),  George Hollingbery , and Konor Miah (38) and Sanjida Miah (36), the owners of Banks Fish and Chips'' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132461-0647)
George Hollingbery MP at Banks Fish and Chips in London Road, Cowplain'' ''(left to right) Sally Jenson (39), George Hollingbery , and Konor Miah (38) and Sanjida Miah (36), the owners of Banks Fish and Chips'' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132461-0647)
Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

Leader says the business rate system is still ‘fundamentally flawed’

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TUCKING into delicious fish and chips, an MP has praised the way an area is doing business.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery visited shops in London Road, Cowplain, where businesses have been thriving.

The area has seen new shops opening and refurbishments of existing shops, along with a new residential development that has been fully sold.

Mr Hollingbery got behind the counter at Banks Fish and Chip shop to help Konor Miah, who opened the business eight months ago.

The business is going from strength to strength.

Mr Miah said: ‘It’s going very well.

‘I live just down the road and this was the perfect venue because it has a rich mix of people.

‘There are young people and old people, and newcomers to the area too.

‘I moved here from London 10 years ago.

‘It’s a great place for the business.’

A large Lidl has recently opened in the area which has boosted the number of visitors to the parade of shops.

Mr Hollingbery said: ‘The parade is doing really well, there are new shops opening all the time.

‘Yes, there have been one or two that have been struggling and having a difficult time.

‘That’s been the case across the country.

‘But it’s really nice being able to see a part of my constituency blooming, and there’s no doubt it is down here.’

He added: ‘It’s great that this part of the constituency is thriving and has new shops – many of them independent.

‘They are employing people and helping to generate wealth, while offering much-needed services to local people. I think it’s a combination of lower rents in this part of the constituency, not terribly low, but lower, and therefore the business rates are a bit lower too.

‘Also there’s a really receptive community.

‘It’s convenient for a lot of people and it certainly seems to be working.’