Shropshire Star comment: Politicians must back economy
Unemployment is rising. There is continued political uncertainty over delayed plans for Brexit. Businesses are starting to feel the effects and holding back on investment. An imperfect storm is heading our way.
Previous generations have been scarred by the scourge of joblessness.
The more industrialised parts of the region will remember problems caused by a lack of work, while agricultural and service sectors have also suffered in the past.
Unemployment is debilitating for communities, it bespoils lives, it is frequently linked to crime, a poorer quality of life and health issues. The latest figures suggest something must be done.
Brexit has been such a fraught, divisive and unhappy process that it is difficult not to draw a link to the disappointing performance of our region.
Whichever side of the argument you favour, the ongoing uncertainty is undoubtedly a handicap to our economic prospects.
In this context is important that steps are taken to support our businesses at this challenging time.
To that end, we look towards our politicians to make sure the region is as well prepared as it can be. The flowers of hope grow in the garden of despair and there will be new opportunities in our post-Brexit world.
In this region, we must continue to play to our strengths. We are fortunate to have an incredibly diverse and innovative business community that provides many thousands of jobs and has the intelligence, drive and expertise to create more.
Incentives must be provided for those looking to invest and grow, support must be readily available. Our local councils and MPs have a role to play as they look to ensure the region is not left behind. The Government must realise the special needs of the region as it supports our economy at such a testing time.
Improved business infrastructure and logistical support that facilitates trade should be made available. Better wi-fi, good transport, relief on investments and other mechanisms should be brought to bear. We have the brains and ingenuity; it is important that the political will is also shown.