Witney News - Support for economy to continue as unemployment drops

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Support for economy to continue as unemployment drops

West Oxfordshire District Council is vowing to continue its support for businesses and the local economy after unemployment dropped to pre-recession levels.

Latest Jobseeker’s Allowance figures show that the number of claimants in the District fell to 0.9% during April, the lowest since the economic crisis hit in 2008.

The decrease puts West Oxfordshire’s level significantly below the national average of 2.7% and has been welcomed by the District Council, which has been working to support both local businesses and residents throughout the difficult recent years.

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member responsible for economic development, said: “The latest unemployment figures are extremely welcome news for West Oxfordshire and are testament to the hard work and resilience shown by local businesses, employees and residents alike.

“We cannot stress how much our Council values local businesses and the important role they play in our District, providing thousands of diverse job opportunities. That is why we will continue to provide support packages, advice, networking, mentoring and training opportunities, along with all the hard work that has been going on in recent years to ensure that West Oxfordshire’s economy grows and prospers.

“We recently introduced a Business Rate Relief scheme to provide more than £1m in financial support to hundreds of local retailers and are providing an innovative, comprehensive support scheme to a selection of our smaller town centre retailers to help them assess their businesses and plan for the future.

“In the past few weeks we have taken an exciting step towards securing high-speed broadband across West Oxfordshire, which will support the many businesses and homeworkers across our rural patch and ensure our District is equipped for the future.

“In addition, we will continue to provide free car parking, which we believe is key to the success of our town centres, and build upon the success of our tourism industry, which supports 4,800 jobs locally.

“We will also carry on working within the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and with partner agencies to represent West Oxfordshire and ensure our District is best-placed for economic growth, investment and continues to be attractive to businesses, large and small.”

Further information on some of the Council’s work to support local businesses is available at www.westoxon.gov.uk/business

Posted : 28/05/2014 12:37:33

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