MP asks minister for plan to tackle workforce crisis after another Lakes hospitality business forced to close

5 Feb 2024
Tim speaking in Parliament

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron secured a meeting with the Employment Minister to discuss how to solve workforce issues in the county’s hospitality sector.

It comes after the owners of a Lake District restaurant, Steam Bistro in Coniston, sadly announced its permanent closure after ten years.

The owners said that a struggle to find staff members was one of the main reasons it had been forced to shut its doors.

Speaking during DWP Oral Questions in Parliament, Tim said: “I celebrate the work of Kendal job centre who do a fantastic job. One of the problems is that they have too smaller workforce to work with.

“This week we mourn the loss of yet another Lake District business. This time a bistro in Coniston, due in part to the loss of affordable homes and restrictive visa rules, both of which are shrinking our local workforce.

“I wonder if the minister would agree to meet with me and local Cumbrian business leaders to develop a plan to tackle Cumbria's workforce crisis?”

In response, the Minister for Employment, Jo Churchill said:  “I would be happy to meet with you, but I would also very gently say this is about other government departments as well, so I will certainly work with him as far as employers go under my remit.”