As councils across Swindon and Wiltshire gear up for the new political year with local elections and/or annual meetings next month, Business West has published a business manifesto for change.
This is a call to action for councillors, asking them to put business at the heart of their agendas, to support businesses to create jobs and help the economy to grow.
Phil Smith, MD of Business West, said: “We are keen to ensure that local councillors and political leaders fully understand the implications of their actions and policies for business growth and that they avoid introducing change that will have a negative effect on business. They need to understand and appreciate the constraints and barriers businesses are faced with on a daily basis.
“By working together we can achieve so much more for the local economy, but that means local councils need to work with, and fully consult, business on all economic development and growth agendas. Only then can we properly identify the right solutions to key challenges.”
The manifesto identifies four main areas of focus and challenges councillors to address these: l Infrastructure improvements l Strategic leadership l Youth unemployment l Simplifying planning system.
In each of these areas, clear business priorities are identified.
Business West director of policy, Tessa Coombes, said: “We have listened to local businesses and set out their thoughts on business priorities for local and national government to address. Top of the agenda are issues around putting into place the infrastructure needed to get the West moving and ensuring strong identifiable leadership in our cities and towns.
“Add to that the very real concerns businesses have about helping young people into work and cutting through the red tape that causes extra delay and cost to business, and you have a business agenda for everyone to get behind.
“Businesses are keen to do their bit to help make change happen and to create local jobs but they do need positive support to do that.
“What we want to see are business-friendly councils working closely with the business community.”
PUBLICATION: Swindon Advertiser - 23 April 2012