People-_0002_Amanda Beresford

Sir Keir Starmer elected Prime Minister

On behalf of our members and the region’s business community we wish him and his incoming government every success.

We hope that the new Prime Minister will recognise that placing Yorkshire at the heart of Britain’s economic policy can help drive the whole country back to much-needed growth.

Amanda Beresford, chair of West & North Yorkshire Chamber, said: “On behalf of our members I wish to congratulate Keir Starmer on becoming Prime Minister.

“Our hope now is that Sir Keir make good on their manifesto commitment to grow the economy and create the environment that allows businesses in Yorkshire are able to grow, invest and create jobs and prosperity.”

We as a Chamber have made five key asks of the new Government. These are:

1) Deliver Stability: Businesses need the next Government to foster a pro-growth culture for start-ups, scale ups and any business wanting to create jobs, economic prosperity and export opportunities. A climate of stability will give our firms the confidence to carry out these measures and generate wealth for the region.

2) Infrastructure: The Chamber calls upon the next government to commit to improved connectivity between the east and west of the North of England, both by rail and by road.

3) Skills and digital: This remains the number one issue that businesses tell us they are facing, with 66 per cent of firms saying they struggle with the recruitment and retention of staff. On education, the curriculum currently in use if more than a decade old and contains no mention of the tools that will shape the future such as cyber security and artificial intelligence. This needs to change. Similarly, adults in need of upskilling require simpler access to apprenticeships and module learning. Much of these areas are already being successfully addressed through the Local Skills Improvement Plans that we and other Chambers are administering nationally. We would call for the LSIP programme to be extended beyond 2025.

4) Devolution: We would like to see our two Mayoral Combined Authorities handed greater controls over areas such as health and taxation, ensuring that key decisions are made by those who know the region best.

5) Backing for the hospitality sector: As the first sector to close and the last to reopen during the pandemic, we would wish to see greater support for this much-loved sector. A reduction in VAT has been something the Chamber has long called for to support the sector. We would also like to see further action taken to lessen the burden of energy bills and explore the possibility of adding the sector to the Shortage Occupation List to assist with the ongoing crisis around staffing.

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