Welcome from our Director of Policy, David BurchWelcome to the latest edition of e-Business Leader. I have just returned from two weeks holiday in San Francisco so am still slightly jet lagged as I write this but what struck me about visiting California was the can do attitude that prevails there. Despite everyone’s image of America, especially that being portrayed in the presidential election primaries, people were not as brash as I expected them to be and there were lots of really vibrant small and medium sized businesses in both San Francisco and some of the smaller towns that we were also able to visit.
I mention the can do attitude because at the moment we are going through the process of engaging in the consultation on Highway England’s proposals for a third Lower Thames Crossing. I understand that people need to have the opportunity to express their views on the options being proposed, especially if their home or business is directly affected, but sometimes I feel that we take consultation far too seriously and lose sight of what we are trying to achieve. If and when the Government finally agree a route for the crossing, it could be several years before it is actually built and operating. We have similar things happening with the proposals for improving the A120, improving the Great Eastern Main Line and West Anglia Line and I am sure that many of our members want to see action on these issues not more feasibility studies and consultations.
And so to Europe, or the European Union to be precise. It won’t have escaped your notice that the issue of the forthcoming referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union is becoming somewhat heated with both sides anxious to claim the support of the business community for their point of view. We know that there are Members of Essex Chambers of Commerce who would be happy to remain a member of the EU and those who would like to leave it, others have yet to be convinced one way or the other. For this reason we do not have nor will we be taking a formal position on this issue, the referendum is to be decided by individual electors not businesses. Whatever the outcome, we will continue to do our best to represent the interests and views of our members at all levels of government.
Director of Policy