Influencing within Westminster
I had a great day yesterday meeting up with fellow business leaders from many Chambers as the British Chambers of Commerce celebrated its Annual General Meeting, as well as the Parliamentary launch of Chamber's 'Business is Good for Britain' campaign. It was really good to see the Chamber network out in force and influencing government actually inside Westminster.
The launch was attended by, amongst others, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, Business Minister Mark Prisk both of whom I managed to engage in a short conversation to put forward Norfolk’s case for investment. Also there supporting us was Brandon Lewis MP, amongst a range of other MPs and peers, despite the fact that it clashed with a hastily-arranged debate on how to investigate the recent scandals that have rocked both business and public confidence in the banking sector.
We now have the backing of over 30 MPs for an Early Day Motion in support of the 'Business is Good for Britain' campaign, and that support is growing day by day, thanks to cross-party leadership by friendly MPs and efforts nationwide to get local politicians to sign on. I am hoping that all our local MPs will sign up soon to show that they believe that 'Business is Good for Norfolk' too!
As noted at both the Parliamentary event and at the BCC's Summer Reception, critical decisions are needed over the coming months to create the sort of enterprise-friendly environment we need to enable business growth for years to come. The Chamber Network will continue to put forward bold and imaginative proposals on business finance, infrastructure, and ways to boost international trade. And as Sir John Peace, chairman of Standard Chartered, Burberry and Experian noted in his address to reception attendees, the Chamber Network will also focus together on youth employment and the development of tomorrow's workforce.
You may have also noticed yesterday that I have finally got the 'twitter bug' so please do follow me to make it all worthwhile! @nccCaroline
Caroline Williams with John Longworth, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce