MP Greg Barker visited independent retailer Carol Smith at her forecourt in East Sussex to show support for a local business and discuss the pressure of rising costs in the economic downturn and the problem of crime.

The Conservative MP for Bexhill and Battle praised Carol for her site, Ashdene Service Station in Hurst Green, saying that it ran a vital local service.

He added: "I am concerned to ensure that businesses like Carol’s get the support they need from the police and courts system in deterring crime. I was particularly concerned to hear about the lack of effective sanctions for fuel theft and will be raising the issue in Westminster."

Carol said: "We were delighted to host Greg at our store and show him how we serve the local community.

"There are a number of pressures on retail businesses and it is important to know we have the support of local politicians."