October 26, 2020 9:42 AM

Councilors along the Shropshire/Powys border have written to Mark Drakeford, Welsh First Minister, urging him not to forget the many self-employed who working on both sides of the border during the current lockdown.

Nigel Hartin (Clun), Ruth Houghton (Bishop's Castle) and Heather Kidd (Chirbury and Worthen) have pointed out to the Minster that in rural areas like the Welsh/English border a great many people are self-employed and that the lockdown has impacted on many residents in England as well as Wales.

Cllr Heather Kidd said: "The Welsh Government has introduced measures to financially support self-employed people in Wales. Although this is good it does not take account of the fact that many self-employed people work on both sides of the border and many Shropshire residents are suffering from the impact of this lockdown.

"For example, I have a peripatetic hairdresser. Half his clients are in Powys. Visits to them are out of the question for the next fortnight as he visits them in their own homes. Similarly, I know of tradesmen such as plumbers and electricians who have lost work because of the uncertainty."

Cllr Nigel Hartin added: "Hospitality venues have been hit hard too. There are many pubs, cafes, etc along the border who rely on cross-border trade for much of their income. I live in Bucknell, within a few miles of the border, and this move will impact on the takings of a number of establishments already hit hard already this year."

Cllr Ruth Houghton concluded: "The Welsh Government has brought in two grant schemes each worth Β£1,000 to tide over the self-employed based in Wales* We are asking him to consider extending all or part of this grant to those individuals who either trade in Wales or derive a significant proportion of their income from Welsh residents and who have been impacted by this lockdown."