The recommendations, published in the trade bodies Manifesto 2022: Revitalising Local Communities, lay out 12 ways in which local authorities, councillors and council officers can help the sector get communities back on their feet, as well as demonstrating hospitality is best placed to lead the UK’s economic recovery.
Three crucial areas
UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pre-Covid, our sector created £130bn in economic activity and generated £39bn of tax for the Exchequer to fund vital services. The industry made up 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP.”
The policies span three crucial areas: People, Promotion of Place, and Partnership with key recommendations including ways to tackle the sectors 400,000 jobs shortage; licensing extensions and faster planning processes to encourage business; and spotlighting the innovative work the industry is doing to support the Government’s 2050 Net Zero target.
- actively promote hospitality jobs and skills through local authority channels, including careers advice and information campaigns
- direct employers and jobseekers to Springboard for schools, colleges, and employer networks – and promote the school’s ambassador network
- tighter regulations on Short Term Lets (STLs) to ensure local people can access housing and work in their area
Promotion of Place
- take a permissive approach to planning applications to support business growth with a rapid, streamlined response
- include a commitment to support hospitality businesses within local licensing and planning policies, such as a permanent extension of pavement and takeaway licensing
- deliver a more efficient, low-cost public transport system that supports business and resident needs
- provide discretionary business rates relief to businesses struggling post-pandemic
- simplification of any future biodiversity net gain regulations
- establish high street business fora at local level to input into local development plans
- support the roll out of Electric Vehicle charging points at hospitality businesses
- provide support for businesses on the food waste collection system by streamlining and simplifying the process
- work collaboratively with business and key stakeholders to avoid imposing excessive regulations such as late-night levies and Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders (EMROs).
This comes as thousands of hospitality businesses, devastated by Covid, have begun to recoup some of their losses from the past two years and after the Chancellors Spring Statement last month left some operators feeling they had been dealt another “bitter blow” as the sector faces debt, VAT increasing to 20%, and huge energy price increases.
Bounce back stronger
Nicholls added: “We’re confident that, with the right support measures in place, hospitality businesses will bounce back stronger, and deliver growth and investment across the UK once more.”
The full manifesto can be found here.