More than 70 representatives from the East Riding’s business community attended a successful event at The Spa Bridlington last night to learn more about opportunities to work with East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
As well as providing a valuable networking opportunity, the event also outlined the authority’s financial position, explained procurement law and future changes and highlighted how the authority supports the local economy through investment, spending £254 million per annum with business.
There were presentations from council leader Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, Nigel Leighton, director of environment and neighbourhood services, and Dave Waudby, head of infrastructure and facilities.
Councillor Parnaby outlined how the authority is meeting savings’ targets, through planned under spends, business transformation programmes and a sustainable plan for going forward, maintaining services identified as priorities by residents, and investing to save, such as projects that bring a number of service under one roof and managing workforce reductions.
Councillor Parnaby said: “The event was well-received by representatives from across the East Riding business community and provided a useful forum to dispel myths, exchange views and provide practical advice and guidance that will benefit local businesses.
“The economic picture, nationally, is one of improvement and, with growth returning to all sectors, the council is keen to continue to play its role in the recovery, locally.
“The main aim of the event was to inform businesses and promote the opportunities that are available for joint working with the council.
“The majority of the council’s spend, 66 per cent, is with organisations and businesses within Yorkshire, a great achievement in comparison to other local authorities where average local spend is just 30 per cent, and for every £1 spent locally £2.50 is generated for local business.
“Successful funding bids to the Government and Europe, as well as a comprehensive £84 million capital investment programme are helping to safeguard jobs, create new employment opportunities and generate growth. Provision of training to help people develop new skills in emerging sectors, such as the renewable energy industry, are also a priority.”
Delegates who attended the event welcomed the opportunity to speak to the council direct and found the presentations useful and informative.
Lynne Hope of Lynne Hope Communications said: “Once again, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has offered clarity, transparency and support to and with local businesses.”
Paul Sewell OBE, managing director of the Sewell Group, said: “I think it is critical that our local authority speaks to the business community.
“Local authorities are big buyers and it is important that we work together to grow the local economy for the benefit of our residents.”
Kishor Tailor, chief executive of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), was also in attendance and was pleased that the council’s presentations echoed the aspirations of the LEP.
He said: “It was a good event, promoting the opportunities for local companies to work with the council, and I was pleased that so many representatives from the business community turned out.
“The messages from the council were really please as they are consistent with the aims of the Humber LEP for people to buy local.”
Thomas Martin, joint managing director at Arco Ltd, appreciated the council hosting the event, saying: “I thanked the council for their transparency, for talking, listening and engaging with the business community.
“The region looks, feels and acts differently in 2014 and we at Arco and at other businesses have noticed and I would urge them to continue to keep going.
“Every person in attendance at The Spa Bridlington last night was open for business whether they represented the council or a company.”
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE speaks to representatives of the local business community at last night’s event at The Spa Bridlington.