Mark Todd MP visits D.G. Controls Limited

Mark Todd, MP for South Derbyshire visited D.G. Controls Ltd, the Swadlincote-based manufacturer of deegee beacons and sounders today.  After a discussion with D.G. Controls’ Managing Director Jon Whiten at a Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) event at the Houses of Parliament in November 2008, Mark accepted an invitation to come and see for himself how we manufacture the beacons.

Mark Todd MP visits the team at D.G. Controls Limited 16.02.2009
Mark Todd MP visits the team at D.G. Controls Limited 16.02.2009

After a factory tour, Wendy Whiten, Operations Director at D.G. Controls Ltd, and Jon Whiten, took the opportunity to ask Mark about the wisdom of grants for business, and whether the money might be better spent as tax credits for green initiatives and capital investments, rather like the Research & Development Tax Credits. 

This sentiment runs through many local businesses, from small to large, as reflected in a straw poll at the Resource Navigator Club (RNC), a Derby-based group where businesses such as D.G. Controls meet and discuss core business issues, green and environmental best-practice, and operating and energy efficiency.  Over 15 businesses discussed the benefits of grants at the latest meeting of the RNC on 13th February 2009, and 100% felt that grants did nothing to influence investment, whereas off-setting tax would encourage much more long-term product and business development.

D.G. Controls Ltd have been members of RNC since September 2008, and have found already that the sharing of ideas and discussion of issues saves a lot of duplication of work amongst the members. 

Mark was sympathetic to the plight, agreeing that in many cases grants are merely a bonus, if achieved, against a purchasing decision which would have taken place anyway.  However, as Mark said, “Whilst so-ever our European business counterparts are being offered such incentives, it would generally be considered by UK businesses as unfair to competition to not have such similar grants available in the UK.”

Mr. Todd has agreed to come to the next Resource Navigator Club meeting in March 2009, to feel the pulse of business in Derbyshire.