MORE than 20 small firms from across Wiltshire have visited the Palace of Westminster in London to find out more about how government works.

The trip was arranged by the Federation of Small Business for FSB members from across Wiltshire with support from Devizes MP Claire Perry.

Iain Wallis, FSB Policy Lead for the South West and a Devizes business owner said “FSB is the UK’s leading business campaigner, focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

“This trip to Westminster was a superb opportunity for our members to voice their concerns face to face with local MPs.”

The visit by the 21 small firms kicked off with a tour by Seth, who was only guiding for the third time, but who had an amazing knowledge of the building and the history of how our democracy has developed over the centuries.

One highlight was the ‘New Dawn’ light sculpture by Mary Branson above the entrance to St Stephen’s Hall celebrating women’s right to vote.

The tour was followed by an opportunity to question three local MPs – James Gray, John Glen and Michelle Donelan – on issues faced by Wiltshire small businesses.

This wide-ranging discussion covered a number of topics from ice cream vans to copyright law and members were encouraged to write to their MPs should future issues arise.

Tickets to the public gallery rounded off the day. This provided an opportunity to watch a prisons’ debate with the new Minister of State for Prisons, Robert Buckland, the MP for Swindon South.