Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 27°C

min temp: 19°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Heseltine revolution gets business leaders’ broad backing

11:00 01 November 2012

Lord Heseltine delivers a speech in Birmingham Town Hall where he calls on the government to take bolder action to stimulate the economy

Lord Heseltine delivers a speech in Birmingham Town Hall where he calls on the government to take bolder action to stimulate the economy

A SHAKE-UP of the Government’s growth strategy, laid out in a new report, has been welcomed by East Anglia’s business leaders.

shares

Tory grandee Lord Heseltine was tasked by Prime Minister David Cameron with coming up with radical ideas to kick-start the economy and lead the UK into a brighter future.

He has produced a 200-page report, entitled No Stone Unturned, containing 89 recommendations to Government, including stripping £60billion from Whitehall departments to give extra money to the poorly-funded bodies which replaced regional development agencies, Local Enterprise Parterships (LEPs).

He also called for the two-tier council system to be abolished and replaced with unitary authorities, and for every school to have local business leaders on its governing board. He also made recommendations which would boost the role of chambers of commerce. New Anglia LEP chairman Andy Wood broadly welcomed the report.

“In the New Anglia area we have an effective partnership between the public and private sectors and have been pursuing the type of plan Heseltine discusses in his report,” he said. “It is clear the coalition has moved on from seeing LEPs as an experiment to being an essential component of economic growth. Recognising this, I welcome the core idea of greater powers being devolved to the local partnerships.”

Jeanette Thurtle, East Anglia Development Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said Heseltine raised many good points about letting people get on with running their business - but criticized the emphasis on the role of chambers of commerce.

“The FSB has said that LEPs should discuss growth ideas with local stakeholders and should have more resources to identify local economic shortfalls. However, the boards of LEPs must represent all sizes and sectors of local businesses otherwise they will fail. The FSB disagrees that chambers should be legislated as they do not represent all businesses – particularly self-employed and micro firms.

“To create a stable environment for businesses to thrive, the FSB would encourage the Government to look to the success of the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Instead of pooling enterprise funding and central staff, Lord Heseltine should have looked at good practice from across the world, such as the SBA, and recommended a better policy making machine and an agency which co-ordinates small business policy such as lending, procurement and exporting.”

Suffolk Chamber president Dr Peter Funnell said Heseltine’s analysis of the state of the UK economy was “compelling”, but warned Government to “think carefully” before committing to a restructuring of Government.

“Businesses in the county will welcome his call for steady, long-term thinking to improve the UK’s economic performance. However, Heseltine’s prescription for action gives insufficient focus on the fundamental barriers to business growth,” he said.

“We are pleased that he believes chambers can continue to play a central and expanding part in making local economic growth happen. Lord Heseltine makes a range of recommendations that, in his view, would help bolster chambers’ ability to serve local business. We will be studying these recommendations carefully.”

David Burch, director of policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce said: “We very much welcome the thrust behind Lord Heseltine’s report. He recognises the need for the UK to grow. In order to do that there needs to be closer collaboration between the private and public sectors. He especially recognised the role of chambers of commerce in delivering that.”

He added: “We just hope that Government won’t simply dismiss it and will enact some of the recommendations.”

A South East LEP spokesperson said it was keen to explore all opportunities to breaking down the barriers preventing our businesses from growing and flourishing.

“We have already shown through our innovative approach to programmes such as the Growing Places Fund that we are able to unlock the potential for an estimated 43,000 jobs and almost 19,000 homes across the SELEP area,” he said.

“It is important that we have the necessary freedoms, flexibilities and resources to continue the progress we are making towards our overall objective of creating the most enterprising economy in England. While we need to examine the full details of the Lord Heseltine review it certainly gives us plenty of ideas for consideration.”

shares

0 comments

Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand.

Pubs and brewing group Greene King today posted another year of record revenues, with sales within its key Retail division topping £1billion for the first time.

Suffolk Coastal considers convenience store bid

Planning chiefs have responded to concerns about noise and antisocial behaviour arising from proposals for a new convenience store in Kesgrave by insisting on closing times being brought forward an hour and the installation of a barrier to restrict overnight parking.

Tim Dunford, managing director and master brewer at the Green Jack Brewery, third from left, with Beer for Summer judges Mark Dorber, left, and Charlie McVeigh of The Draft House, right, and Peter Gordon, on trade director of Budweiser Budvar.

A Suffolk brewing company is celebrating after winning a new national “Beer for Summer” competition.

The Bishop Of Ely, the Rt Rev Stephen Conway, centre, at the hospice site dedication in Cambridge with Mark Hart, construction director at Barnes Construction, right,  and Stuart Evans, chair of the trustees of the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.
Photo: Paul Nixon Photography

An act of dedication has taken place to mark the start of contruction work on a new £10.5million hospice in Cambridge, which is being built by Ipswich-based Barnes Construction.

Ian Carr, chief executive of Prettys

Regional law firm Prettys has reported a 13% increase in revenue for the year to April 30.

Oliver Crichton and Ruth Sunaway of Birketts.

East Anglian law firm Birketts has announced the promotion of five senior associates to partner status across its four offices, including Oliver Crichton and Ruth Sunaway in Ipswich.

The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston, presents the Queen's Award for Enterprise to Seafast.

Specialist logistics company Seafast was yesterday presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Ipswich Station hanging baskets Shows (L-R) Jackie Rathbone, Abellio Area Ticket Office Manager; Kris Collins, Thompson & Morgan Comms Officer;  Ric Staines ActivGardens Lead Horticulturist and Trainer,

Stunning floral displays are welcoming passengers at Ipswich, Stowmarket and Diss rail stations this summer thanks to a partnership between local charity ActivLives and train operator Abellio Greater Anglia, with help from Ipswich’s own horticultural company Thompson & Morgan.

Carolyn Fairbairn, who is to become director general of the CBI.

A former member of the Number 10 Policy Unit is to become director general of the CBI.

Spending on drinking and eating out remained robut during May, according to the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker report.

Most Britons are planning to holiday in the UK rather than overseas as they continue to monitor their spending carefully, according to a new survey.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages