Suffolk’s leading business membership organisation has unveiled its manifesto for the next three years, setting out the priorities it will be campaigning for on behalf of both its members and the wider business community.
Titled A Manifesto for Business, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has identified the current strengths of the Suffolk economy, its future potential and the improvements and investment needed to realise that future.
The manifesto confirms that Suffolk fuels, feeds, informs, transports and attracts businesses and people both nationally and increasingly internationally, thanks to its strengths in the energy, land-based, ICT and knowledge, port and logistics and tourism sectors.
According to John Dugmore, chief executive, “Suffolk Chamber believes that the potential future for the county is one characterised by an innovative, internationally successful and diverse economy, high value and high waged jobs and a strong education sector delivering a skills base that is as good as any in the country.
“We are also looking to attract increasing levels of inward investment that delivers business and economic growth whilst ensuring a balance with the county’s attractive countryside, towns and villages.”
Suffolk Chamber’s campaigning will focus on three key issues:
· reducing unnecessary regulations
· improving access to all markets
· giving business the tools to do the job.
Under the theme of reducing regulations, the Chamber wants a reform of business rates, including the removal of all plant and machinery from the valuation of property and a continued roll-out of initiatives, such as Better Business For All, which aims to make regulatory services more supportive of the needs of local businesses.
Suffolk Chamber is also seeking improvements in procurement opportunities so that all local public sector partners better engage with businesses when deciding upon their supply chain contracts.
In terms of improving access to markets, as well as road, rail and telephony infrastructure upgrades, the Chamber will be stepping up our campaigns for improved international trade support for Suffolk firms and a sharpening as how Suffolk is marketed to the rest of the country and internationally to promote greater investment.
In giving businesses the tools to do the job, Suffolk Chamber is especially keen for a streamlined and simplified planning system to ensure that the interests of businesses are better heard, both in the development of new local plans and through more business-friendly planning practices that explicitly support economic and business growth.
“Because of our credibility and excellent working relationships with other organisations and our collaborative approach to lobbying, Suffolk Chamber has a great track record in successfully delivering campaigns, including the No Toll Tax in Suffolk initiative and our current No More A14 Delays in Suffolk campaign.
“Our manifesto priorities build on these campaigning successes” added John Dugmore.
Suffolk Chamber’s five town areas and two sectoral boards are now developing specific manifestos of their own within the framework established by this Suffolk Chamber document.