THE ESSEX Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the announcement of a Thames Estuary Growth Commission.
In a general reaction the the budget, David Burch, Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce, commented: “ As usual with all such statements the devil will be in the detail but there are things in the Chancellor’s statement that we welcome”
“The reduction in corporation tax and the abolition of Class 2 national insurance are obviously welcome as are the changes being proposed in the limits for small business rates relief. All of these should be of real benefit to businesses in Essex as is the continued freeze on fuel duty”
“In principle we welcome the creation of the Thames Estuary Growth Commission to be chaired by Lord Heseltine. The Themes Estuary and south Essex are major contributors to the UK economy but need investment, especially in infrastructure to enable that growth to continue. We hope that this commission will focus on improving local roads such as the A13 and A127 and ensure the third Lower Thames Crossing goes ahead. Whilst we wait to see what form it takes we believe that it must work with local businesses and residents to develop solutions locally and not impose ideas from Whitehall”
“On infrastructure generally, we were disappointed that there was not great recognition of the needs of the south east and Essex in particular. Crossrail 2 is welcome and it must ultimately link to Stansted Airport and support investment along the M11 corridor. Whilst we also welcome the increased investment in our flood defences we didn’t hear anything about improving those on Canvey Island so will continue to work with others to ensure these are brought about.”
“All in all this was not a bad budget for business but there is more that we would like to have seen for Essex, which is one of the few net contributors to the UK economy, so we will continue to lobby our MPs and Ministers on these issues”