We have progress!!!

Our initial vision in March 2021 was to gain recognition of our industry from the Government to access Covid-19 tourism / accommodation grants. By April we were informed to seek parity from local councils Covid-19 funds. We commenced Save Our Industry and launched an online campaign running over Easter last year. We drafted grant documents for all our industry. We also wrote to Rishi Sunak, the council Chief Executives and Portfolio Holders regarding the exclusion of our industry and lack of support during the pandemic. While obtaining grants was the pressing issue due to our incorrect industry coding, we also found, from a wide range of case studies, phone calls and messages that there were other inconsistencies such as disparity with star ratings, licence regulations interpretation, licence fee was not harmonized, VAT, our association with Defra, no acknowledgement to the Tourism sector and more – our industry was seemingly overlooked, ignored, pushed out and disregarded from all angles. Last year we sought invaluable advice from Sir Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker of the House), attended a zoom meeting with Paul Scully (under-secretary of BEIS), and bombarded Cabinet ministers and Defra ministers with letters concerning our exclusions. Our social media platform brought us together, to discuss, to listen and to save our industry from collapse and now, this, our Alliance with the backbone of our legal team, JMW. We have, and are, saving businesses and families. We have been heard and respected by a spectrum of MPs, Ministers and Secretary of States. Then we upped the game!… On November 3rd 2021 our sector was heard in the House of Commons under the UK Alliance of Catteries and Kennels via adjournment debate (link on our website) So far this year,2022, we have – -attended a zoom meeting with Secretary of State Michael Gove regarding levelling up our hindered industry and are now submitting a ministerial essay, under the UK Alliance of Catteries and Kennels, to confirm the financial support our sector needs, specific to our industry, specific to our members. -attended a zoom meeting with Nigel Huddleston, Tourism Minister, to confirm our place within the tourism chain. Nigel Huddleston has confirmed our link within his sector; Tourism. -attended Westminster on February 10th for a meeting with Defra Secretary of State, George Eustice, where we discussed in detail the issues our industry has faced during the pandemic and what we are facing currently; the amount of closures within our sector, the impact of regulations, issues with licensing officers, disparity of councils, grants, and lack of an overarching representative body to be our voice. George was incredibly approachable and fully understood our plight. He relayed this information to his team to arrange a ‘Defra official meeting’ with the UK Alliance of Catteries and Kennels. -attended the business Conservative Conference on March 19th on behalf of our sector. -On the 7th of April the UK Alliance attended a ‘Defra officials’ meeting to discuss our actions so far but most importantly to discuss our future together and to address the issues we face now; to seek resolution and move away from charity / welfare. To have correct licensing and regulations suitable to our industry as the individual businesses that we are, an integral link in the Tourism chain. We now have direct communication with Defra, we have submitted to the ONS our tourism code via the defra officials who all agree and recognize our work and tenacity. Once this is returned from the ONS we will be officially coded to tourism, with the full support of Parliament, meaning, come what may, we will be recognized correctly and will not face the inequality and the struggles we have all faced over the last two years. This is something many said we would never achieve and this is just the start of our journey. In the meantime we are keeping close communication with defra officials re specific issues for members, inconsistencies and evidence including licensing officers. Things are getting interesting! We can now confirm the UK Alliance of Catteries and Kennels (members of) will be consulted regarding regulation changes in 2023; finally a strong voice for our industry. – 12th April we attended a second zoom meeting with BEIS Paul Scully to follow up from our Defra officials meeting, Paul will now chase our coding through the ONS and aid us in standing regulated by defra as an integral part of tourism. We would not be able to spearhead this without the growing number of members and their support, every membership makes every difference and every voice counts. Together is stronger and we are stronger together. We would love to hear from you, our number is free, 0800 772 3989, or email craig@ukalliance.co.uk or claire@ukalliance.co.uk

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