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Friday, 1 October 2010

From Politics to Football – Remember Ossie Ardiles?

By Dr Brian Sloan, Head of Business and Economic Policy

A week is a long time in politics they say. This week has been more politics than business as the Chamber put the views of business to the Labour party at their conference in Manchester. This was an important opportunity for us to get your messages direct to the policymakers and opposition – they’re not my messages they’re yours! Ring me, phone or e-mail, it is important that your voice is heard and next week we’re off to the Conservative conference, so 5,300 e-mails this weekend please.

The Chamber attended a number of events this week and a recurrent theme was concern over the Government’s plans to abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission, there is a sense that in this respect the Coalition’s localism agenda will hamper the infrastructure developments needed for future growth. Northern Hub, the proposed rail project for Greater Manchester, with knock on benefits across the entire north of England is a key project priority in which Government must commit to funding. The Chamber outlined the argument at a GMITA organised event and it was resoundingly supported by all. Skills also continue to be a business concern, with one large employer in the region describing the literacy and numeracy skills of entry level applicants to his business as “shocking”. We continue to work hard on behalf of business in these areas and more.

It wasn’t all politics though, to end the week I was invited to the Soccerex launch event at Cloud 23. There were a few famous football faces, Nobby Stiles, Dennis Law and Osvaldo Ardiles, oh and that rapper from New Order – John Barnes I think he’s called! Check out for details of their exhibition in Manchester next March. From manufacturing to media, construction to catering there are opportunities for any business to get involved and remember Manchester and the UK will be hosting many more international sporting events in the next few years.

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