UK Warehousing Association launches Election Manifesto in Parliament

April 30, 2024

The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has launched its Election Manifesto for 2024 at a special Parliamentary Reception, hosted at the House of Commons by Ben Everitt MP and attended by Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, both of whom, along with Greg Smith MP and UKWA CEO Clare Bottle, gave speeches in support of the manifesto.

UKWA members, the UKWA management board and Policy Team presented eight key ‘asks’ for the sector to MPs and stakeholders from relevant government departments, including the Department for Transport (DfT), Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ), and the Department for Levelling Up, Community & Housing (DLUCH).

The UKWA Election Manifesto 2024 calls for overdue reform to business rates and urgent improvements to the planning system, as well as highlighting the massive untapped potential of solar power on warehouse rooftops.

According to UKWA CEO Clare Bottle, it is essential with the prospect of a general election in 2024 The Year of Warehousing, that those in power fully understand the importance of warehousing to the UK economy and that the needs of the sector should be made clear to potential future policy makers.

“Warehousing continues to see tremendous growth and is integral to every aspect of the UK economy, with 8% of the population employed in logistics, yet still our needs are not being met and we are not getting our fair share of parliamentary ‘airtime’,” she said.

“Part of the problem is a lack of joined up government. Currently, our eight policy pleas must be addressed to eight different departments, which is why our first and arguably most crucial request is the appointment of a Logistics Minister in the next government.

“Accordingly, along with 11 other trade associations, we have written to Rishhi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer and other party leaders to put our case, and I’m delighted that at our Parliamentary Reception we gathered dozens more signatures of support. In the meantime, warehousing remains a political ‘blind spot’, and this matters because warehousing is a bellwether for the whole economy.”

Clare concluded, ““I was encouraged by the number of MPs and Departmental representatives who attended our Parliamentary Reception, listened to our policy arguments and expressed their support. My hope is for a better informed Government able to recognise that a political environment where logistics – and in particular, warehousing – can grow sustainably and thrive is key to wider economic growth.”