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Councillors face some tough challenges

Posted on 5 May 2017

County councillors across the East Midlands could be facing one of the toughest challenges ever in local politics.

With the General Election only five weeks away, to be closely followed by what is shaping up to be a vitriolic divorce from the EU, it will be up to the newly- and re-elected representatives to ensure the region’s needs and wider domestic issues are not simply shunted into the sidings.

Scott Knowles“We congratulate all the councillors who have either won or held seats. We’re entering one of the most important times in recent history for UK politics, and as elected representatives their task ahead has arguably never been more difficult, or more important,” said Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber*

“The negotiation of our exit from the European Union will likely take up much of the focus and resource of whatever Government is in place after 8 June, but we can’t let the local issues be sidelined during this process. The best Brexit deal in the world will mean nothing if local businesses and communities are hampered by poor planning, low investment and catch-all national policy making that doesn’t allow for local sensitivities.

“There are a raft of domestic issues which will impact the East Midlands, and it will be up to our regional representatives to make sure they remain high profile and high priority. A strong and functional relationship between communities, councillors, MPs and Government will be at the heart of ensuring this can happen.

“Regionally, key issues that need to be championed include HS2, electrification of the Midland Main Line, improvements to the Derby-Stoke-on-Trent-Crewe rail link, rolling out of superfast broadband to all businesses and residences, devolution and supporting local companies who want to start exporting or find new overseas markets.

“The Chamber has a long and strong reputation of working closely with local authority partners and elected members and we look forward to working with all the newly- and re-elected representatives to ensure continued growth and prosperity across the East Midlands.”

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