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MP discusses industry struggles with Devon builders merchant

Devon independent builders merchant Palladium invited its local MP to visit its premises to discuss the importance and value of small businesses in creating jobs & growth.

MP discusses industry struggles with Devon builders merchant

Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes went to the Kingsbridge branch of Palladium Building Supplies and was shown round by branch manager Nick Cox and director Keith Olver.

During the morning, Dr Wollaston heard how merchants are managing as the industry forecasts construction will continue to decline over the next two years – with no real sign of recovery until 2014.

Palladium sees the return of a thriving repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) market as a way to revitalise the county¡¦s economy. Olver believes there is demand for work in South Hams which is being held back by economic uncertainty and consumers¡¦ unwillingness to spend.

Dr Wollaston talked to branch staff about sales of insulation in the wake of the last two cold winters and said: “I was delighted to visit Palladium here in town and learn of their contribution to the district’s economy. Nick Cox and his team are to be congratulated on their efforts, despite testing times. I was particularly struck by the quality of advice available to customers and it was a pleasure to meet Sylvain Bourdas, winner of a national award for his product knowledge.

  • VAT: it is perverse to apply a 5% rate on energy consumption – but the full 20% standard rate for energy conservation – the 5% VAT rate should apply to both

  • changes to the planning system are a sensible, long-term attempt to balance competing demands – merchants’ customers do not want to develop projects that prove to be so unpopular, or poorly designed, that they cannot sell or rent them

  • the successful 2010 Boiler Scrappage Scheme ought to be repeated

  • About Fiona Russell-Horne

    Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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