Thursday, 9 July 2015
Business Leaders Meet MPs in Westminster
Senior business leaders from across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire met with some of the region’s MPs in Westminster this morning to discuss the best way of ensuring the East Midlands punches its weight in Parliament.
The event was organised by the Chamber in partnership with member Turner & Townsend and took place at Turner & Townsend’s Westminster head office, in Savoy Court.
MPs in attendance included Maggie Throup (Erewash), Amanda Solloway (Derby North), Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire), Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) and Vernon Coaker (Gedling).
It aimed to give newly-elected and returning MPs the opportunity to sit down with firms from their constituencies to discuss current priorities, the implications of yesterday’s Budget and how they can best work with the business community to promote the needs of East Midlands commerce, in relation to rebalancing the economy, devolution and the other big issues of the coming Parliament.
Chamber President Liz Fothergill provided an update on the current state of the East Midlands economy then led an open discussion about the issues which businesses would most like to see addressed by this Government.
There was broad agreement around the table that as a collective group, businesses and MPs can do more to work together in a cohesive way to champion the East Midlands to national policymakers and ensure this region gets its fair share of funding, investment and resources.
Chris Hobson, the Chamber’s Director of Policy, said: “This morning in Westminster, Chamber members had a really constructive discussion with their elected representatives about the need to ensure that when it comes to fighting for funding and resources for this region, we ‘hunt as a pack’ like they do in other parts of the UK.
“If, as a country, we are serious about developing a balanced and sustainable economy, then the Midlands – and particularly the East Midlands – holds the key for doing that.
“If policy can support further growth for East Midlands businesses then the country will succeed. Get right the policies that will support East Midlands businesses in their recruitment, investment, exporting and day-to-day business activities, and the whole country will flourish.
“It’s a message that we think Government is starting to understand, and it was good to have the Chancellor visit the Chamber and its members in June to highlight the concept of the Midlands as the UK’s ‘Engine for Growth’.
“There was collective agreement this morning that businesses, politicians and other key stakeholders stand ready to work together to fuel that engine.”
Jon White, UK Managing Director at Turner & Townsend, said: “As a business we are always keen to support the Chamber of Commerce. With our very strong regional presence we are supporting the ‘Midlands Engine’ as we see the social value of more devolution to the regions as critical to growth and sustainability.
“Today was all about encouraging collaboration between businesses and MPs to drive the ‘Midlands Engine’. This is crucial to its success and we look forward to seeing the relationship develop.”