A new European parliament has just been elected so Business Argus decided to ask the business community of Gwent what it would like to see from the new administration.

Valerie Henley, head of Family at QualitySolicitors Rubin Lewis O'Brien, Cwmbran

The voting system's biggest issue is people not voting. For me, I am a woman running a business and other woman have campaigned and died for my right to vote. So although the European Parliament seems very far removed from Cwmbran, I want to be part of how we’re governed; and whether we like it or not that also includes the government of Europe. So although there’s been bonkers decisions (remember the level of bendiness of bananas?!) there’s also been decisions to the good such as limiting the number of hours junior doctors can work.

Luke Welsh, head of Employment Law, Howells Solicitors, Newport

Europe has implemented a number of different amendments to employment law, whether by legislation or case law, which has, at times, caused UK businesses considerable difficulty and uncertainty as to how to deal with certain employee issues, most particularly regarding holiday entitlement situations.

If we are keen to remain part of the EU, the European Parliament should assist businesses within Wales on a number of levels. Having a single market should allow us access to gain more business within the EU, however businesses should receive clear guidance as to how they can benefit from this. A lot of companies tend to get caught up in complex and costly regulatory 'red tape' which is harming small businesses enormously. As such, I believe that it should be a key focus of the European Parliament to either reduce the amount of regulations involved, or once again provide clear guidance to assist business owners to steer through. Obviously, cutting business rates and providing more funding for apprenticeships would also be gratefully welcomed by businesses.

Gerald Davies,executive chairman, Kymin, Newport

I suggest that, as soon as the new parliament re-assembles, they take a year off, to prevent them passing any more silly laws. Next, they should pass an edict to the effect that, for every new regulation they pass in future, at least five should be abolished. Followed by the abolition of the Court of Human Rights, to be replaced by the Court of human responsibilities. I expect no good from the European Parliament.

Gareth Jones, director, Audere Medical Services Limited, Usk

It is important to note that the European Parliament has provided plenty of positives for UK businesses by enabling us to easily trade with other countries in the EU, providing funds for economic regeneration etc but we have also had to implement legislation which as an employer has proven costly with little or no benefits to either the company or our staff. I would welcome the input of representatives from both the public and private sectors when creating new legislation so good old common sense can prevail and both employers and employees alike can benefit and prosper from new rulings.

John Newell, director, Kingston Newell Estate Agents, Newport

Newport and the surrounding areas has certainly benefitted from funding allocated from Europe. Businesses in the area have been able to apply for grants and loans which have proved vital as they start up or look to expand. It’s important that this support continues as the knock on effect impacts communities and other businesses in the area. Some of the success of the business parks on the west side of Newport and the number of employment opportunities it has provided and the subsequent demand for housing by the workforce can be attributed to these grants. I don’t think we know enough about what the Wales Assembly, UK government and European Parliament do and who does what – perhaps this could be communicated more clearly?

Ross Porter, managing director, Clear Sky Recruitment, Blackwood

I remain to be convinced that Europe and the UK's continued involvement with mainland Europe and its parliament is of any benefit to the UK whatsoever. I'm of the belief that Euro laws, regulations and red tap, is a costly and unnecessary hindrance and weighty business burden to the UK and I will continue to believe this until I can be persuaded otherwise, if ever. If the new cohort of recently elected MEP's adopts the status quo than I can see that there will be little, if any, change in my current attitude to Europe.