MY background before entering Parliament was in business and specifically helping small and medium-sized businesses to grow.
I believe this is fundamental to the future of both the British economy and the success of our local area.
It is only through having a vibrant economy that we can afford the public services that we all value so much and ensure our young people have high quality local jobs they deserve.
In recent weeks I have visited two businesses – one near Richmond and one at Colburn – that epitomise the type of exciting enterprises we have in the constituency.
Professional Information has grown rapidly at Aske from two people to more than 200 providing medical information to healthcare professionals and the public on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry. It is a company with a global reach but successfully based here in a rural setting provided by the Zetland Estates.
Just down the road on the Colburn Business Park, OpenCRM is a successful niche software company, again serving customers around the world. Its customer relationship management system was developed here in North Yorkshire, and now ten years old it employs over 20 people. It disproves the idea that tech companies can only thrive in cities.
We need to help more companies like these and in order to do that we need the right business conditions. One of those is better broadband and mobile connectivity, another is having great schools to produce the talented people that companies Professional Information and OpenCRM need.
The Education Forum I organised this week at Scotch Corner brought together more than 60 heads and governors of primary schools to discuss the funding of rural schools.
It was a great opportunity to listen and learn directly from our school leaders how I can best support them. The current school funding arrangements are unfair to our rural schools and while the Government has made progress on this issue we can and must do better.
I have been campaigning for fairer school funding for a while but now I need your help. Please sign my online petition at www.rishisunak.com. Together with MPs in other rural areas I shall be taking our petition to Parliament and No 10. If you care about this issue for all our school children, please take just one minute to add your name to the petition and help me deliver a strong message.
Finally, thanks to my fellow columnist Joe Willis (A Dales Life, D&S Oct 2) for his entertaining tips on adding some amusing anecdotes to my column. As if it was not enough to have William Hague’s big boots to fill, now I also have to match Joe’s unique Dales’ wit. Joe, I’ll work on it but I think everybody’s sake it is probably best I stick to my day job!