I believe that business is important not just for the ability to create wealth, jobs and employment in the local area, but for the way that it has the capacity to change people’s lives. Business can create a sense of self belonging and community; however, it also has to be responsible. For instance, pubs are not only businesses, but are vital hubs of the community. Yet reckless and unregulated sellers of alcohol can equally damage the very area they exist in. It is always a fine balancing act.

With my extensive experience working in the private sector for both large international companies and far smaller organisations, I bring commercial experience to my role as a councillor. It is vital that the right type of businesses are encouraged and helped to grow. Whether it is fully supporting the establishment of a local food market or meeting regularly with the Ealing BID (Business Improvement District) team to feed in ideas, I always back local business.

With most of the Ealing Broadway businesses based in my ward I have regular opportunities to support and foster growth. Whether it is the local Marks and Spencer (where I have fond memories of stacking shelves during university holidays!), to the thriving restaurant scene or the many smaller startups, it is important to keep building the aspirations and success of local businesses. All areas need a diversity of good establishments to attract revenue and provide the services the local community needs.

As the councillor representative on the Ealing Business Club, I support giving local businesses of any size a chance to meet and network with each other, as well as interact with those who are making critical decisions for their business, including politicians, council officers and representatives from estate management. By giving business the space and tools to expand I find that success and growth soon follows, and I am proud to see our local Ealing Broadway businesses continue to flourish.