Gloucester MP Richard Graham visited transport operator CM Downton’s head office in Moreton Valence on Thursday 4 January to discuss topics affecting the business in 2018. During the visit he met with directors Andrew and Richard Downton and head of recruitment David Leleu to find out more about issues ranging from apprenticeships, driver shortages, roadside conditions and the concerns of drivers from outside the UK.
Downton in one of the area’s major employers and although its head office is outside Mr Graham’s Gloucester constituency many of the employees working there and at its other sites in the county are his constituents. During the visit Andrew, Richard and David took him on a tour of the site and gave him an overview of the company, its operations and how these affect the local economy. They also discussed the company’s apprenticeship programme which provides excellent opportunities for young local men and women to build a successful career in a demanding industry. This included discussing the implications of the apprenticeship levy introduced last year. Another topic covered was the ongoing driver shortage across the industry which affects the company’s ability to recruit and retain vital employees to support its continued growth. The company also raised the concerns of its drivers from Eastern Europe and other parts of the EU on how they will be affected by Brexit. Finally, the visit also provided an opportunity to discuss the UK’s transport infrastructure and issues such as the state of the roads, tolls and other charges and how these can affect the business.
Richard Downton, Director of CM Downton, said: “We were pleased to welcome Richard to Moreton Valence and it was a great opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him and explain more about Downton’s contribution to the local economy. Many of our employees live in his constituency and it’s important for us to help their local MP understand the challenges our business faces now and in the future.”