Politically Speaking in Wakefield Express

It’s just over two miles round Pontefract racecourse. And I’ve clocked up a fair few laps in the last few months as part of my preparations for the London Marathon. Pounding the path, just focused on the next couple of miles, is a great way to get some thinking time on a Saturday morning.

I’d like to be able to say that everyone is being really supportive of my Marathon attempt, but Yvette thinks I’m ‘crazy’. But it has brought some pleasant surprises too. Someone slipped a five pound donation into my hand during a visit to a local school last week and whispered, “Good luck Ed”.

And this week my constituency office had an unexpected delivery of Lucozade sports drinks and energy bars which someone had kindly donated – much better nutritional preparation that a sausage roll!

The Marathon at the end of the month is going to be tough and I’m not expecting a fast time. After all, 26.2 miles is like running from Wakefield to Rotherham. That’s a long way to run.

The good wishes I’ve received are spurring me on though. As is thinking about the two charities I’m running to support; Whizz Kids and Action for Stammering Children. It all helps me get through the miles. Anyone who wants to support what my ‘crazy’ Marathon attempt should visit my just giving page or contact my office. 


Recently I met some local Wakefield companies while over in Scarborough at the Federation of Small Businesses national conference. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy here in Wakefield and it was great to catch up with some local entrepreneurs to hear how things were going.

Trevor from Castle Estates in Wakefield told me how he’d already been through one recession when he first set up his company, and knows how tough it can be. All he wants is a bit of expert help and support to enable his business to grow.

Janice, who runs her business at Lofthouse said the same. They both wanted me to commit to championing local entrepreneurs.

Of course I was delighted to. But as well as warm words, businesses need action too.

These are tough times to be running a small business, and taking on new staff can be expensive. Nationally I’ve called for small businesses like those great Wakefield firms I met in Scarborough to get a tax break if they take on new staff.

Sometimes local businesses face particular local problems too. From business rates to bills or utility supplies, I help hundreds of local companies who have to deal with something unexpected. Any businesses in my constituency that think I can help during these difficult times for the local economy should get in touch at www.edballs.com.

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Posted April 13th, 2012 by Ed