The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Friday Blog: Brighton Rocks?

This week's Labour Party Conference
by Chris Fletcher, Deputy Chief Exec.

So that’s that then, the last Labour conference before the General Election. This was the fifth Labour conference I’ve attended and the change in atmosphere over the years has been noticeable, from the highs of a few years ago to the current state of play which is …. well I’m not sure actually. Whilst Angie Robinson and myself were just there the Monday and Tuesday, there did seem to be an air of 'going through the motions' about the whole experience (the Labour delegates not us!).

At the various fringe meetings we attended it was more about the potential threat from a change in government rather than what future policy would be. Indicative perhaps of the eagerly awaited pre-budget report in the next month or so which will form the fiscal foundation for Labour’s election manifesto.

Notwithstanding the subdued atmosphere, at the meetings we attended we made sure we put across valid issues that we know affect businesses in Greater Manchester on a daily basis. Something we will be doing next week when the Conservatives hit town.

If you’ve never been to a party conference before you may not know what you can do without having to resort to costly passes. There is a huge range of free fringe meetings offering access to major political leaders, the decision makers and takers whose actions affect us all. We’ve compiled a list of some top meetings that are on the key issues that you have told us affect you. If you are in Manchester next week and get to one why not go and see what it is all about and help us represent the business community in the city region.

Click here for our listing of fringe events

This time in 12 months Labour will be back in Manchester for their conference. Will it be as the party of government? Who knows and I’m not going to start making political predictions. What I would like to see though is that whichever party does win the election they fully understand the vital role that business plays in this country in creating the wealth and jobs that will give us the financial stability and growth that we need now more than ever. Our job at the Chamber is to make sure they don’t forget that.

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