Warwickshire News Mine

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More than 6,000 visit recession web pages

Web pages launched to offer advice and guidance to people on recession issues are continuing to attract thousands of visitors.

Latest figures for the month of September have revealed a dip in the overall numbers of visitors to the web pages compared to the previous month, but an increase in the number accessing specific page information.

For example, the number of people seeking help and advice on employment hit its highest level since the web pages were launched in January, with 665 people visiting this page.

Similarly the numbers of people seeking ‘family’ or ‘housing’ advice were at their highest ever.

In September the recession pages on the Warwickshire County Council website (http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/recession) were viewed 6,040 times, down on August, but still up on July.

The pages were launched by Warwickshire County Council to reassure local people and to provide assistance and advice during the recession.

Cllr Peter Fowler, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “There are a number of initiatives underway to try and help people directly, and for those seeking information and support we are offering the web pages at http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/recession to provide a way to find out what help might be on hand.”

The website includes a wide range of activity being undertaken by the county council to help support jobs in Warwickshire. Below are just a few examples of what is available, whether in business or facing unemployment:- 
Help for business includes:
WIPS (Warwickshire Investment Partnerships) engages with many businesses that are expanding in Warwickshire. Even with the economic downturn, we are still dealing with companies who need to find space to grow and take on more staff.  Increasingly we are also helping existing companies who are struggling with reduced order books – but even then we can help them to find more suitable, smaller premises - and so safeguard many jobs.

We are in touch with many small businesses who are struggling due to lack of finance or orders. While our Business Support Team signpost most enquiries to Business Link, we can offer initial advice and additional services including access to small business loans, help with reducing energy and waste costs, advice on web marketing and support to those wanting to start up a new business.

The county council is a national pilot for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) – which now cover some of our town centres.  Leamington Spa is the latest shopping centre to sign up, and saw sales hold up well this Christmas despite gloom elsewhere in the retail sector.
Help into jobs:
Many people finding themselves out-of-work may consider setting up their own business. For those thinking about taking that step, the county council has its own Business Centres on short-term and flexible terms. This is great for those who can’t raise finance to commit to traditional leases up-front. They have proved very popular over the years, and we now have some units available for immediate occupation. 

The county has a “Skills for Jobs” team, which helps those who have been out-of-work for a while, but want to get new skills and back into employment. There is also a new Employment Officer Team (based in Nuneaton) working closely with JobCentrePlus to help those facing redundancy.