Priti takes a tour of Witham Industrial Watch members

Priti with Dale Hire’s MD Karl Horrocks.

Priti takes a tour of Witham Industrial Watch members

Published: 31st January 2023 - 9:31 am Category: Local News

The Witham MP, Priti Patel, gave her continued support to Witham Industrial Watch (WIW), members during a tour of the Eastways Industrial Estate on Friday (27th January 2023).  She visited established local businesses Dale Hire, ICEX Ltd and Beta Pharmaceuticals, and met with WIW director, Chris Dale, with whom she has worked over a number of years on securing support for WIW, Witham’s Business Improvement District.

Priti’s visits on 27th January began with Dale Hire, where Managing Director, Karl Horrocks, showed her the wide range of heavy machinery including excavators that the company hires out.  This growing business has five sites across Essex and employs 31 local people.  The company celebrates 50 years in business in 2023.  Dale Hire has faced challenges including a lack of applicants for vacancies, supply issues with large well-known manufacturers and the loss of red diesel.  They were keen to discuss these issues with Priti during her visit.

The MP’s second visit was to ICEX Ltd (Independent Computer Exchange), which specialises in taking IT equipment from major companies that no longer need it and refurbishing it for sale at lower prices, so that PCs and laptops can be bought by people who normally can’t afford them.  CEO, John Russell was keen to discuss the problem of VAT being charged at the full rate of 20% on used equipment, which hinders their efforts to introduce more people into the world of technology.

Priti’s final visit was to BETA Pharmaceuticals, where CEO Mohamed Kanji, briefed her on the company’s role and its success over the last 25 years as a UK wide distributor and wholesaler of pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare products.  Its head office is in Witham and it employs more than 100 people.  He also mentioned the company’s issues with recruitment.

Speaking after her tour, Priti said: “It was a pleasure to catch up with Witham Industrial Watch and particularly to visit several of its members.  Having supported WIW Business Improvement District for many years, I am grateful to everyone who has done so much to support our thriving local businesses. SMEs always face a raft of challenges and pressures and representing their issues has always been my priority. Essex is a highly entrepreneurial county and small businesses continue to be the economic lifeblood of our region.”

Witham Industrial Watch Director, Chris Dale said: “It was great to have Priti with us again and to talk through the key issues affecting our members.  Having come from a business background herself, she really does understand the issues we raised and the challenges we face in the current economic climate.  Good communication with key stakeholders in Witham is very important for the future.”

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