Business leaders want bold response from Budget
BUSINESS leaders in the region are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to "respond boldly to the Lord Heseltine review" in his Budget, to help "create an environment of enterprise and investment to boost confidence in the region".
Hull and Humber Chamber Of Commerce, instrumental in securing the Local Enterprise Partnership, is now actively involved in the pilot to promote localism in the regions, along with counterparts in Birmingham. And Lord Heseltine has agreed to get involved with implementation if George Osborne delivers a positive Budget next week.
Dr Ian Kelly, the Grimsby-born chief executive of the Hull and Humber Chamber, said: "If the Budget genuinely kick- starts the process of greater localism Lord Heseltine has talked about in his excellent report, we are keen to be part of it.
"All local stakeholders could find themselves in a very changed environment and it is vital in the Humber that what emerges is ambitious, private sector friendly, and able to generate real change and growth."
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The Chamber, the collective voice of more than 1,400 companies, also wants to see revenue spend redirected into measures which would boost growth, such as investment in road and house building.
"Locally, the A160 link road and Castle Street, in Hull, which the Hull and Humber Chamber is actively campaigning for, would improve the region's infrastructure on both banks of the river and stimulate growth, so any early funding boost to encourage and stimulate major projects of this nature would be welcomed," said Dr Kelly.
He also called for a reduction in business rates.
"A freeze, or below inflation increase, in business rates for three years would also help many local firms in the Humber plan their costs more effectively," he said.
"We think the 2.6 per cent rise scheduled for April this year should be cut or scrapped."
Mr Osborne will deliver the Budget on Wednesday.