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MP presses ministers for action on Lakes hospitality staffing crisis

June 15, 2021 4:31 PM

On the floor of the House of Commons last night, local MP Tim Farron asked for an emergency meeting with Government ministers and Cumbria's hospitality leaders to address the staffing crisis in the sector.

New Research from Cumbria Tourism revealed that in April, 34% of businesses were concerned about recruiting staff due to factors including staff moving on during the pandemic, post-Brexit immigration policy changes, current travel restrictions and many businesses hiring at the same time.

Speaking during a statement on the Government's decision to introduce a four week delay to lockdown easing in England, Tim said: "The Secretary of State will know that the hospitality and tourism industry has probably been hit more than any other part of our economy throughout this period.

"One of the challenges at the moment is that the ongoing restrictions mean that hospitality and tourism businesses need more staff than normal in order to cater for fewer customers than normal.

"Is he aware that the biggest single issue raised with me by hospitality and tourism industry bosses in the Lakes and the Dales is a lack of staff?

"This lack of staff is largely caused by the Government's new visa rules. Would he agree to get the Immigration Minister to sit down with me and, more importantly, hospitality and tourism leaders from Cumbria and other rural areas - and other parts of the country involved in tourism - to discuss an emergency way of getting that vital boost to our hospitality and tourism industry just now?"

Responding, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I am happy to raise that for the hon. Gentleman."