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David Finch 

Leader of Essex County Council


Monday, March 26, 2018

Guest Blog - Cllr Kevin Bentley

Economic Commission

I met with economists, business leaders and academics from the Independent Essex Economic Commission on Friday, 23 March at Anglia Ruskin University for the launch of their final report, Enterprising Essex, Meeting the Challenge.

I welcomed the independent report which provides great insight and does not pull its punches in highlighting not only the positive sides of our economy, but also the challenges we need to overcome in order for Essex to reach its full economic potential. Essex has great entrepreneurial spirit, we lead nationally on the number of business start-ups and Essex has great links to London and to business opportunities globally through our two airports and ports. 

The report sets out fourteen recommendations on how we can improve and the key message for me and other attendees at the event on Friday was that this cannot be done by any one particular organisation and we need to work together in a joined-up way to truly build prosperity for the people of Essex. All of us have more to do to remove barriers to growth, more commercial premises need to be found and the skills deficit needs to be addressed. We have made great strides on improving transport and digital connectivity, but there is more that can be done as well as looking at how to improve education and employment in coastal areas.

We need Essex to become a key part of a national powerhouse. Entrepreneurial Essex has a huge contribution to make to UK PLC. Over the past few years the Government has focused quite rightly on the North and the Midlands, but it’s now time for Essex and the South East to receive infrastructure investment. As the Commission notes Essex has a lot to be proud of and has huge potential to become one of the fastest growing economies outside London. I look forward to Essex County Council playing a part in helping to realise that potential.

Cllr Kevin Bentley,

Deputy Leader at Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

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